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Israeli, South Korean firms forming JV for UAV production

Israeli and South Korean companies are to jointly produce VTOL unmanned aerial vehicles.

By Richard Tomkins
A planned Israeli-Korean joint ventue is to consider adding ship-borne vertical-takeoff-and-landing capability to the Panther, a fixed-wing AVOTL unmanned aerial vehicle made by Israel Aerospace Industries. Photo courtesy Israel Aerospace Industries
A planned Israeli-Korean joint ventue is to consider adding ship-borne vertical-takeoff-and-landing capability to the Panther, a fixed-wing AVOTL unmanned aerial vehicle made by Israel Aerospace Industries. Photo courtesy Israel Aerospace Industries

TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Israeli and South Korean companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture for the development, manufacture, and marketing of vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned aerial vehicles.

Under the agreement, Israel Aerospace Industries and Hankuk Carbon, a composite manufacturer, will begin by developing a vehicle with the maximum takeoff weight of between 441 pounds and 661 pounds primarily for Korea's domestic market.

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IAI said adding a ship-borne VTOL capability to its Panther UAV is also being considered.

The Panther is a 143-pound tilt-rotor UAV built by IAI.

"We see the upcoming JV as a great opportunity for both companies to expand their business," said IAI Executive Vice President Shaul Shahar. "We are looking forward to work with Hankuk Carbon -- a well-established Korean company decisive to enter into the aerospace business. With Hankuk Carbon's composite material production capability and with IAI's 40-years' of experience and know-how of UAV's, 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."

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