The South Korean Air Force will set up an airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) unit in December which will be equipped with two RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Two Global Hawk UAVs are expected to be delivered to the Korean Air Force next year under a 2014 contract with the United States, with two more to arrive in 2019.
The assets are expected to improve South Korea's capability to monitor North Korea's nuclear and missile activities, adding to its Peace Eye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) system aircraft.
The new airborne ISR unit will be launched Dec. 1 this year, the Air Force told lawmakers during an annual audit session, Yonhap News reported Friday.
The Air Force already has an ISR battalion, but it has decided to create a higher-level one to operate Global Hawk drones and analyze the data collected by them, Yonhap added.
The Global Hawk, which features high-altitude and long-endurance flight, is known for persistent near-real-time coverage using imagery intelligence (IMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT) and moving target indicator (MTI) sensors.