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Israel, Korea expand loitering munition collaboration

IAI HAROP loitering munition system
IAI file photo of a HAROP loitering munition system

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) have signed an memorandum of understanding for work on a loitering munitions program for the Republic of Korea armed forces.

As explained, the program will focus on maximizing the effectiveness of suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses (SEAD&DEAD) missions.

The latest agreement, signed at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX 2021) on October 20, builds upon an earlier-agreed collaboration on unmanned systems and manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) technologies.

Back in March this year, the two companies said they would cooperate on 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. The companies said at the time that the MOU would see them working together on offering the Republic of Korea (ROK) military forces with unmanned loitering munitions systems.

“The expanded cooperation between IAI and KAI will offer the South Korean military with new technologies, and will establish concrete cooperation plans through joint feasibility studies between the two companies,” IAI said in a statement on October 20.

IAI is an established industry leader in the field of loitering munitions, with systems such as the HAROP, ROTEM, and Harpy in service with militaries around the world.