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Korean Air KUS-FC


ISR Drone Technology Demonstrator Proposal


Aviation / Aerospace

Korean Air is developing its KUS-FC technology demonstrator in the hopes that funding will become available for it.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 3/9/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
To satisfy a standing Republic of Korean Air Force requirement, Korean Air is working on an unmanned reconnaissance drone through the KUS-FC technology demonstrator project. Its model was initially displayed to the public in 2011 and has evolved since through at a slow pace - the service intending to have something airborne before a self-imposed 2030 target deadline. Korean Air is currently looking to seek the necessary funding required to bring a flyable technology demonstrator about. A more evolved, combat-capable form with an internal weapons bay is also being planned by the company.

The KUS-FC was earlier known by the project name of "KUS-X" when the South Korea air service was deeply interested in an indigenous combat-capable UAV. For simplicity's sake, the service has now centered its focus on a traditional Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) drone.

In its current form, the KUS-FC utilizes a blended "wing-body" tailless planform common to military UAVs today. This results in a triangular-shaped aircraft with elegant contours and swept-back wing mainplanes while also lacking traditional vertical surfaces. The design is most likely to be powered by a single turbofan engine which, at this stage, remains of unknown make, model, and thrust output power. The engine will be buried in the body of the design and aspirated through a nose-mounted intake and exhausted through a shielded port at the extreme rear of the fuselage. A retractable tricycle undercarriage would make up the ground-running gear of the aircraft. Construction will be primarily of carbon-fiber-plastic skinning over an aluminum framework. At present, the design showcases a length of 10 meters with a wingspan measuring 16 meters.

While engine makeup is unknown at this time (2020), Korean industry is working on possible in-house solutions. The American non-afterburning Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U is also a proven candidate that may come under consideration to expedite the project. Endurance is estimated for the six hour range giving the KUS-FC relatively good "legs" in the air.

A full-scale demonstrator is currently (2020) planned if funding is secured from the South Korean government.


Specifications



Year:
2028
Status
In-Development
Crew
0
[ 0 Units ] :
Korean Air - South Korea
National flag of South Korea South Korea (planned)
- Ground Attack
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
- Unmanned
Length:
32.81 ft (10 m)
Width:
52.49 ft (16 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Korean Air KUS-FC production model)
1 x Non-afterburning turbofan engine of unknown make, model, and thrust output.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Korean Air KUS-FC production model)
Max Speed:
575 mph (925 kph; 499 kts)
Service Ceiling:
32,005 feet (9,755 m; 6.06 miles)
Max Range:
1,988 miles (3,200 km; 1,728 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Korean Air KUS-FC production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
Initially none though the South Korean Air Force will eventually introduce a combat-capable UAV form.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Korean Air KUS-FC production model)
KUS-FC - Base Project Designation.
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