A New Generation of Drones: Israel Aerospace Industries Partners With South Korean Firm

Joint venture seeks to manufacture drones with vertical takeoff and landing

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Screenshot from YouTube: Panther FE drone by IAI and Hankuk Carbon
Screenshot from YouTube: Panther FE drone by IAI and Hankuk CarbonCredit: Screenshot from YouTube

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries said on Tuesday it was partnering with Hankuk Carbon, a South Korean company specializing in composite materials, to develop a new generation of drones for military and civilian use.

The two companies signed a joint venture agreement at the International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition in Seoul.

Each company will hold a 50% stake in the venture, which will be called Korea Aviation Technologies. It is first planning to manufacture a vertical takeoff and landing drone with a maximum takeoff weight of 300 to 450 kilograms, but it may branch out into other models as well, IAI said.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen in recent weeks as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump exchanged threats and insults over the North’s development of missiles and nuclear weapons.

IAI is Israel’s top-selling defense group, and its satellite, weapons and drones systems are used in many countries around the world.