SEOUL, April 27 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s Navy will start the trial operation of an unmanned ship next month, the country’s newly developed weapon mainly for use on the tense sea border with North Korea, the state arms procurement agency said Thursday.
The Defense Acquisition Program Agency (DAPA) launched a 3.3 billion won (US$2.9 million) project in late 2015 to develop an unmanned surface vessel in partnership with LIG Nex 1, a local defense firm.
The production of the 8-meter-long, 3-ton ship with a maximum speed of 30 knots was completed in November last year. Its weapon systems include a chain gun, water cannon and guided weapons.
Its functions, including surveillance, reconnaissance, ship chasing and obstacle avoidance, will be demonstrated at the Navy Operation Command in Busan later in the day, said DAPA.
“It will be test-operated by the Navy from May to July” for the determination of the details of its required operational capabilities, it added,
DAPA officials said it could be a model for the military to take the initiative in developing and using autonomous mobile robot technology.