KAI Showcases New UAV
By Jung Sung-ki
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has unveiled an up-to-date tactical unmanned aerial vehicle using a parachute recovery system, the first of its kind in the country.
The Night Intruder (NI)-100N, a modified version of the lightweight NI-100 using a net recovery system, is being displayed during the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2009 at Seongnam Airport, Gyeonggi Province.
The UAV is retrieved by soft landing, with the assistance of a parafoil and inflatable airbag. By using the parachute recovery system and a lighter launcher, troops can conduct missions under almost every field environment and weather with mobility as it allows air vehicle recovery on unprepared terrain, KAI officials said.
The UAV sets include an air vehicle, ground control system, datalink, launcher and parachute with airbag.
The 2.5-meter-long UAV has a service ceiling of three kilometers and a mission radius of 60 kilometers. It can operate for up to six hours and has a speed of 90 to 180 kilometers. Its maximum takeoff weight is 100 kilograms.
The NI-100N could be deployed in division-level units of the South Korean military in the coming years, as the country is pushing ahead with equipping its armed forces with high-tech weapons systems while reducing the number of troops.
The Ministry of National Defense will make a final decision on the introduction of UAVs as early as next year.
In the early 2000s, KAI supplied corpse-level units with the Night Intruder 300 UAV, with a operational radius of 120 kilometers. It has two other UAV systems and is developing an attack variant, called the UCAV.
Libya has shown keen interest in buying the 300 model and related discussions are underway, according to the firm.