Elbit Systems, KAI to co-operate on next-gen unmanned ISTAR solution

Elbit Systems has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to expand their cooperation in the field of unmanned intelligence, surveillance, targeting, acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) systems.

The Israel-based defence firm revealed that the MoU had been signed on March 15, adding that “the cooperation will address potential unmanned aircraft system (UAS) programmes for the Korean Defense Forces, as well as additional global customers.” The MoU puts both companies in a position to be able to collaborate in the development of a next-generation UAS, which will be predominately used to cover an ISTAR role.

KAI is in the early stages of developing a low-observable unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) for the Republic of Korea armed forces. Known as the K-UCAV, this concept could benefit from additional ISTAR capabilities through the co-operation between the South Korean company and Israel's Elbit Systems. KAI

While no details were given about this potential UAS solution, Elbit Systems noted that both companies were well positioned to undertake this collaborative effort. The Israeli firm is one of the world’s leading UAS manufacturers, boasting a portfolio of ten different unmanned platforms that range from tactical UAS’ to medium-altitude, long endurance (MALE) systems.

It also noted that KAI is pioneering South Korea’s national UAS industry through its development of a family of unmanned aircraft for the nation’s armed forces. These platforms include the Corps Level UAS (RQ-101) and the Next Corps Surveillance UAS. The company is also looking to domestically develop a low-observable unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV).