Air signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, regarding technical cooperation to develop a lightweight and modularised tactical vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Established in 1994, Insitu develops and manufactures unmanned aircraft systems, and has developed Scan Eagle, an UAV operated by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Jung-woo Park, head of Korean Air’s Aerospace Business Division, and Michael Janser, executive of Business Development for Asia at Insitu, participated in the MOU Ceremony that took place at the 2021 Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) at Seoul Airport in Seongnam.

The airline expects a synergy effect by combining the core technologies of both companies:  Korean Air’s expertise in UAV development and production, and Insitu’s state-of-the-art UAV technologies including high-performance mission equipment, system optimisation and manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) operations. With world-class technology and expertise in the UAV industry, Korean Air is a front-runner in the Korean UAV market. The airline possesses a wide range of UAVs including division-level UAVs, 5-ton high-performing strategic UAVs, tiltrotor UAVs, next-generation stealth UAVs, multipurpose unmanned helicopters and hybrid drones. The company’s UAV, KUS-FT, has recently been recognised as one of the “2021 Top 15 Industrial Technology Achievements,” by The National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK).

Korean Air is also developing an advanced “lift & cruise” UAV, the KUS-VS. “Lift & cruise” technology takes advantage of independent thrusters for cruise and for lift, which enable vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and high cruising speeds. With its extensive insight and knowledge accumulated from years of technological development and innovation, Korean Air will contribute to building a UAV ecosystem through developing a traffic control management system for UAVs. The airline will also use its knowledge and proficiency in both air traffic management and the transportation service industry to expedite advancements in the future of the urban air mobility (UAM) industry. Through technical cooperation with aerospace enterprises like Insitu, Korean Air will continue to actively expand business opportunities in both domestic and global markets.


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