S. Korea to develop stealth drones, satellite, laser weapons for stronger defense

SEOUL-- South Korea will seek to develop key technologies for radar-evading drones, low-Earth orbit satellites, high-energy laser weapons and other cutting-edge defense assets, the state arms procurement agency said Wednesday.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) laid out its policy priorities at a related panel session, as the country is striving to bolster security capabilities amid North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

Among the priorities is developing high-tech flight vehicles, including stealth unmanned aerial vehicles and hypersonic missiles, amid the emerging global competition over their operational range and speed, according to DAPA.

The country also plans to secure the technology by 2024 to place a small satellite into low Earth orbit by using a solid-fuel rocket, as part of efforts to enhance its reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities.

In addition, the country will embark on a project this year to develop technologies for 100 kilowatt laser weapons capable of countering threats from hostile hypersonic missiles, DAPA said.

For such defense technology projects, South Korea has set aside 266.4 billion won (US$220 million) for this year, a jump from 20 billion won in 2019.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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