IAI and Hankuk to establish a UAV company in Korea
26 October, 2017
The new Korea Aviation Technologies (KAT) will develop and manufacture unmanned aerial vehicles with vertical takeoff and landing capability
Israel Aerospace Industries and Hankuk Carbon from Korea signed an agreement to establish the joint venture company, Korea Aviation Technologies (KAT). The new company will develop and manufacture unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability for the military and civilian Korean market. The agreement follows the joint demonstration of FE Panther held in December 2016 in Korea.
The FE Panther is a 67-kg class tactical VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) Unmanned Aerial System. It is made of composite materials and sub-systems supplied by Hankuk Carbon and powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid propulsion system. FE Panther uses three electrical motors for vertical lift and an internal combustion engine for horizontal flight. It can endure 8 hours of flight time, carry 6 kg of payload and fly over a maximum radius of 130km.
KAT is expected to develop and manufacture the next generation VTOL UAV- with an approximate maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 300~450Kg. Moon-Soo Cho, CEO from Hankuk Carbon said that the UAS system with innovative hybrid propulsion system produced under KAT’s name, “will set up a new standard of the UAV industry. Hankuk Carbon’s composite material and aircraft components business will create a synergic effect with KAT.”
Shaul Shahar, IAI EVP and General Manager of IAI’s Military Aircraft Group, said that Hankuk Carbon brings to the venture strong manufacturing capabilities and know-how. “Together with IAI’s UAVs and aircraft design capabilities, the new company will be able to meet Korean military and civilian VTOL requirements.” Hankuk Carbon was established in 1984, and became the first company to adopt carbon fiber to Korea. It is currently focusing its future growth effort on aircraft business, automobile parts, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). In 2016, HC signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Mitsui Co., and received investment of KRW 30 million Won from Mitsui.
Photo above (from left to right): Moon-Soo Cho, CEO from Hankuk Carbon and Shaul Shahar, IAI EVP and General Manager of IAI’s Military Aircraft Group