The Defense Ministry on Tuesday unveiled two unmanned aerial vehicles after criticism for failing to detect and counter North Korean reconnaissance drones. This was the first time these drones have been shown in public.
A military officer said the aim was to demonstrate South Korea's drone capabilities and quell public fears over the latest North Korean security threat.
The Remoeye-006 drone is 1.72 m long and has a wingspan of 2.72 m, which is similar in dimension to the North Korean UAV that was found on Baeknyeong Island (1.83 m in length, wingspan of 2.45 m). It weighs just 6.5 kg, half the weight of the North Korean drone.
The Remoeye is capable of evading radar detection, meaning it can infiltrate into North Korean airspace to conduct reconnaissance missions at any time.
It is mounted with the latest cameras that have a magnifying capacity of 10 times. While North Korean UAVs can only operate during daylight, the Remoeye-006 can conduct missions at night with infrared cameras. It can also relay data in real time and fly up to 12 hours at a maximum speed of 75 km/h.
The RQ-101 "Songgolmae" UAV was built by Korea Aerospace Industries to conduct intelligence missions day and night. It is capable of transferring real-time images and its camera can swivel around to offer panoramic pictures covering up to 20 km during the day and 10 km at night.
This means the RQ-101 can take reconnaissance photos of North Korea without crossing over the heavily armed border. It is 5 m long and 6.2 m wide and can fly at a maximum speed of 150 km/h.