Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for collaboration on unmanned systems and manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) technologies.
One of the main points of focus of the cooperation will be the development of unmanned systems that would fly in tandem with South Korea’s Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) that is expected to enter service in 2023.
A first MUM-T test flight could take place this year, KAI said.
MUM-T will expand the mission capabilities of the LAH by combining KAI’s system technology and IAI’s unmanned system system capabilities.
In the short term, the helicopter will receive the capability to control unmanned aerial systems to obtain battlefield information. In a future step, KAI plans to integrate canister-launched drones in the interior space of the helicopter for autonomous swarming flights.
MUM-T enables a helicopter crew to control one or more UAS from the helicopter as if they were an onboard sensor being controlled from the cockpit. Various degrees of autonomy incorporated into the UAS, as well as the helicopter’s mission systems, lighten the workload of the crew to varying degrees.
IAI added that it would also offer the Republic of Korea (ROK) military forces with unmanned loitering munitions systems as part of the MoU. As part of the MOU, KAI and IAI are aiming to expand their long cooperation to market the loitering munitions to ROK Army requirements.
“The MOU signed on March 3 is another milestone in our growing collaboration with KAI. IAI has long relations with the ROK and the local industries and we are happy to join KAI, one of Korea’s leading companies to explore future opportunities,” IAI’s president & CEO, Boaz Levy, commented.