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Korean Air KUS-FS


South Korea | 2028

"Korean Air is developing its KUS-FS drone in the hopes that there is a good portion of the reconnaissance-minded MALE UAV market waiting for it."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Korean Air KUS-FS ISR MALE UAV / Drone.
1 x Non-afterburning turbofan engine of unknown make, model, and thrust output.
575 mph
925 kph | 499 kts
Max Speed
32,005 ft
9,755 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
1,988 miles
3,200 km | 1,728 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Korean Air KUS-FS ISR MALE UAV / Drone.
32.8 ft
10.00 m
O/A Length
52.5 ft
(16.00 m)
O/A Width
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Korean Air KUS-FS ISR MALE UAV / Drone .
Initially none though the South Korean Air Force will eventually introduce a combat-capable UAV form.
Notable series variants as part of the Korean Air KUS-FS family line.
KUS-FS - Base Project Designation.
KUS-FC - Original project designation of 2020.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/10/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

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 (now KUS-FS) 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.

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August 2022 - The KUS-FS nears its production stage according to KAL-ASD.

Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Korean Air KUS-FS. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Korean Air / KAL-ASD - South Korea
National flag of South Korea

[ South Korea (planned) ]
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Image of the Korean Air KUS-FS
Image from KAL-ASD press release; showcased with a more traditional UAV form.

Going Further...
The Korean Air KUS-FS ISR MALE UAV / Drone appears in the following collections:
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