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Difficult to Utilize Military Operations within Five Years

Difficult to Utilize Military Operations within Five Years

Posted March. 27, 2007 07:29,   


Ahead of the independent operation of wartime control in 2012, the Korean military has moved to introduce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and multipurpose satellites. Military experts, however, point out that since these utilities will not be in operation within five years, a power vacuum of the military force might be inevitable.

Given an argument that information-collecting detectors for the Geumgang and Baekdu project have not been working properly, not being able to fully use the newly introduced equipment will damage information activities.

According to a military source on March 26, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute have spent 450 billion won on developing mid-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles.

The military authorities plan to make a drone similar to the U.S.’ “Predator” which has been used in the Iraqi war. The UAV can fly more than 24 hours at an altitude of 7.6km and is equipped with a weather radar which helps to find a correct location even in inclement weather, and also comes with a high-resolution camera which can identify a transportation signal on land. However, Korea’s current domestic technology is incapable of building a radar and searching censor like that of the Predator.

Though the authorities also planned to introduce the U.S.’ UAV, “Global Hawk,” which is suitable for high altitude, it is not sure whether the U.S. will sell it.

According to the source, to analyze and process collected data, a C41 system, which is a war control that the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea possesses, needs to be organized, but it will take 10 years to organize such system in Korea. Therefore even if the drone is introduced into Korea, it would be useless for a while.

Moreover, it is questionable whether the project of a multipurpose satellite for communication and patrol, which is driven by the ministry of National Defense, will help improve military power.

Since reconnaissance satellites fly along the polar orbit, they cannot conduct 24-hour surveillance in certain areas because of the differences between the satellite’s period of revolution and the earth’s period of rotation. The source added that the satellite can collect information on North Korea for a maximum of two or three times per week.

The source said, “If the North reads the satellite orbit, it can suspend its operation or hide its goods and facilities while the satellite passes. Therefore, the U.S. has used both the U-2 and UAV at all times, yet it has dozens of reconnaissance satellites already.”