IAI Joins with KAI to Market Loitering Munitions in Korea

 - March 5, 2021, 4:58 AM
KAI’s concept includes MUM-T operations with an LAH and the Green Dragon munition. (Photo: KAI video still)

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) this week signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to market loitering munitions to the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army. In a statement on March 3, the partners said they intend to fuse KAI's aircraft technology with IAI's unmanned aerial system expertise. 

There are currently four loitering munitions within the IAI portfolio, ranging from the Harpy and Harop UAV-sized systems, to the smaller, more tactical Green Dragon and Rotem platforms.

The partnership could answer part of a wider manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) requirement for the ROK Army Aviation. In November 2020, KAI released a promotional video highlighting its MUM-T concept with its Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) and KUH-1 utility helicopter. Notably, it showed as many as four examples of a loitering system that resembles the Green Dragon deployed from an LAH for battlefield reconnaissance and suppression of enemy air defenses, with tactical information being relayed to other platforms, such as the new KF-X fighter.

Earlier in February, IAI announced the sale of the land and naval versions of the Harop to two Asian countries, and an order for Rotem from an unspecified country, together worth $100 million. Another Israeli firm, UVision, is also marketing its Hero family of loitering munitions to the ROK military, partnering with Firstec.