The South Korea Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has revealed that in 2022 South Korea will test grenade-launching drones that can be remotely controlled over a range of two kilometres, carrying gunpowder-filled 40mm shells. The DAPA said in a June 3 press release that it signed a contract with two companies to purchase grenade-launching drones and small modular drones equipped with the latest technologies through a rapid pilot acquisition project system and to test-run the models in the first half of next year.
The operator uses optical and thermal imaging cameras and a laser range finder to shoot up to six consecutive shots, with two seconds between firing. A two-axis gimbal and a recoil absorber stabilize the equipment after firing. A second drone – a small modular affair – weighs less than two kilograms and is intended for monitoring and reconnaissance. Operators can attach specialized kit – like optical and thermal imaging cameras, speakers, searchlight and laser rangefinders – depending on the purpose of the mission.
The contracts with ONC Tech, which will provide the grenade-launching drones to the Army, and Preneu, which will furnish the small modular drones to the Navy and Air Force, are worth 662 million won ($576,600) and 1.71 billion won, respectively. The DAPA expect that the grenade-launching drones and small modularized drones will employ various new technologies and contribute greatly to expanding the spectrum of military drone power and revitalizing the drone industry,” the press release said.
The small modular drone will be mounted with optical and thermal imaging cameras, speakers, searchlights and distance-measuring lasers which can be added or removed as needed, enabling it to carry out a wide variety of functions, including warning, tracking and radio communication interference, which will aid in anti-terrorism and special operations.the small modular drone will be designed to weigh under 1.95 kilograms (4.3 pounds) to enable a single individual to easily transport it.