Six Units of South Korean Army drones are said to have crashed while landing during an operational test last month, raising concerns over a possible setback for their full-scale deployment, military officials said Thursday.
The accident of Uconsystem produced unmanned aerial vehicles, dubbed “Remoeye”, took place between Dec 7-9 at five frontline divisions during a test aimed at improving the operators’ skills, inflicting damages on the drones’ wings and propellers, the officials were quoted as saying The Korean Herald.
Uconsystem was chosen by the country’s weapons procurement agency, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), in 2013 to provide small drones for a project to boost reconnaissance and preemptive strike capabilities of the Army and Marine Corps.
The series of accidents spurned concerns that it may hamper the scheduled deployment.
An investigation by DAPA, the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality and the Army have concluded that the main cause of the crash of five units was the soldiers’ inexperience and the other a defect in the equipment, according to the report.
“We’ve suspended the use of the drones and are trying to come up with measures to prevent another accident,” a military official said.
Produced in September last year, Remoeye were initially stationed at some frontline battalions two months later and scheduled to be gradually deployed in other areas by 2018.
The devices, measuring 1.4 meters by 1.8 meters and weighing 3.6 kilograms, can fly as fast as 80 kilometers per hour. Operators should fly them by hand and then use the remote control, and landing takes place as a built-in air bag explodes and absorbs the shock on impact.