Korean Air and Boeing have signed a MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) for the joint development of 500MD unmanned helicopters. Present at the ceremony held on September 21 at Korean Air’s HQ were Mr. Yang Ho Cho, Chairman & CEO of Korean Air, and Mr. Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing, among many others.
According to the MOA, Boeing will provide technical support for flight control and other data, and for test evaluations. Korean Air and Boeing will also carry out an overseas joint marketing program.
Korean Air successfully remodeled the ROK Air Force’s retired 500MD helicopters to unmanned helicopters from 2014 to May 2016. Based on this success, Korean Air has launched a new project that will run until 2017 to remodel 500MD helicopters into unmanned armed helicopters.
The new 500MD armed unmanned helicopter will not only be able to perform day and night reconnaissance and surveillance missions but will also be able to conduct a short-distance precision strike, a feature which will maximize the helicopter’s usage at the front line when an immediate response is required.
“With this agreement, Korean Air will be able to create unmanned helicopter business opportunities not only in Korea but also in the international market,” said Mr. Myung Rae Ham, Senior Vice President of Aerospace division, Korean Air. “Korean Air and Boeing will fully cooperate in the domestic and foreign unmanned helicopter business and seek to achieve a win-win strategy.”