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South Korea unveils new UAV

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The new UAV of S Korea. A KARI photo.

SEOUL (BNS): South Korea has unveiled a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which it says is the world's fastest and first remote-controlled aircraft with vertical take-off and landing capability.

The new unmanned plane, developed by Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in coordination with the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, was unveiled Wednesday.

The tilt-rotor UAV can vertically take off and land like a helicopter when its wings are facing upward, and can also achieve the speed and operation range of a jet when its wings are tilted forward.

"This is the world's second tilt-rotor aircraft but the world's first UAV with such capabilities," Nam Ki-man, a ministry official, was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

The V-22 Osprey, used by the US Marine Corp, is the only tilt-rotor aircraft presently operational.

The yet-to-be-named unmanned plane is also the world's fastest UAV with a cruise speed of 400 kilometers per hour, or about "twice as fast as a helicopter", the ministry official said.

The US Air Force's Predator UAV is said to have a cruise speed of about 135 kilometers per hour, and a maximum speed of about 217 kilometers per hour.

Mass production of the new UAV could begin within next three years after the aircraft's development is completed in March, the official said.

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S Korea  UAV  
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