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IAI and Hankuk Carbon team to develop VTOL unmanned systems

IAI and Hankuk Carbon team to develop VTOL unmanned systems
IAI and Hankuk Carbon team to develop VTOL unmanned systems. Israel
<p><strong>Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Korean composite manufacturer Hankuk Carbon will form a joint venture to new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicles.</strong></p> <p>Under the terms of the memorandum of agreement, the JV will see the companies develop, manufacture, and sell VTOL UAVs, starting with a system with a 200-300kg maximum take-off weight.</p> <p>It will be developed according to the Korean customer&rsquo;s needs, and the JV will aim for 90% &ldquo;domestic localisation&rdquo; in Korea.</p> <p>Moon-soo Cho, Hankuk&rsquo;s chief executive, says the company has been interested in entering the aerospace market for some time, and a 5% annual growth in the industry makes it a good time to do so.</p> <p>&quot;We see the upcoming JV as a great opportunity for both companies to expand their business,&rdquo; Shaul Shahar, executive vice-president of IAI, adds. &ldquo;With Hankuk Carbon&rsquo;s composite material production capability and with IAI&rsquo;s 40 years of experience and knowhow of UAVs, the joint venture has the potential to become a leading VTOL UAV company, and to provide the best solution to our customers in Korea and worldwide.&rdquo;</p> <p>The companies are also considering adding shipborne take-off and landing capabilities to IAI/Hankuk&rsquo;s FE-Panther VTOL UAV, which will be available by the end of 2018.</p> <p><img alt="Asset Image" src="https://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getasset.aspx?itemid=64332" style="margin:0px" /></p> <p>Israel Aerospace Industries</p> <p>The UAV is powered by lithium polymer batteries and a gasoline engine, and has an endurance of 8h with 6kg payload. It has a 130km range and a maximum speed of 100km/h, and has an automatic VTOL capability.</p> <p>Hankuk and IAI are also co-developing the hybrid propulsion system for VTOL UAVs funded by the Korea-Israel Industrial R&amp;D Foundation.</p>