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South Korea and Boeing to jointly research long-endurance aerial UAVs

24th November 2023 - 14:05 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


DAPA indicated that it would aim to place South Korean companies at the forefront of advanced aircraft production by using Boeing technology. (Photo: Insitu)

Boeing and South Korea have solidified plans that would see Boeing UAV design and technology capabilities implemented locally by South Korean companies.

South Korea's arms procurement agency have said it will push for a joint research project on high-altitude, long-endurance UAVs with US defence firm Boeing.

Officials from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and Boeing agreed to collaborate on the project at the company's headquarters in Washington last week, after signing an MoU for joint research and development of advanced weapons systems in April.

DAPA indicated in a release that the objective is to ultimately place South Korean companies at the forefront of advanced aircraft production, with Boeing providing design and uncrewed technology.

Cho Hyun-ki, head of the infrastructure power business division at DAPA, said: ‘It is very meaningful to unveil for the first time the priority cooperation tasks that the two sides have decided on through lengthy negotiations and discussions since the signing of the MOU between the DAPA and Boeing in April.’

He added that if South Korea could develop UAVs through joint research with Boeing, it would be globally recognised in terms of technology and reliability. 

Boeing has been involved in high-profile UAV programmes, including the MQ-25 Stingray, which will serve as a tanker aboard US Navy aircraft carriers, and the MQ-28 Ghost Bat, an experimental “loyal wingman” aircraft designed to explore autonomous operations.

The two sides also agreed to cooperate on the maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade of Boeing's aircraft used by the South Korean military, although they did not decide on the specific models for the project. South Korea operates a number of Boeing platform, including 59 examples of the F-15K, the E-737 early warning and control aircraft, and the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter. 

The Shephard News Team


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