South Korean army buys hydrogen-powered drones from Doosan

Korea’s pilot rapid procurement program is introduced to save development costs and time by rapidly acquiring technologies from the private sector and modifying further for military applications.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), South Korea’s arms procurement agency, on Monday (17th May), stated that it has agreed to purchase hydrogen-powered drones from Doosan Mobility Innovation, a provider of drone solution based on fuel cell power packs, H2 Bulletin reports.

The contract, which is over US$ 700k, aims to strengthen the Korean military air surveillance capabilities. The hydrogen-powered drones will be delivered by November this year.

Hydrogen and fuel cell technology is a new emerging eco-friendly energy source of the future with significant economic and industrial applications.  In the future, the military will be able to use the superior hydrogen fuel technology of the private sector. The hydrogen-powered drones will be introduced for the first time in the military for pilot use.

These drones are small but can fly for a long time compared to conventional battery drones. They also benefit from low sound, low-pulsation compared to gasoline drones helping idea for covert surveillance and reconnaissance missions. These drones will also be equipped with electro-optic and infrared cameras.

The pilot project is expected to help developing new demand in the defence sector, such as the construction of hydrogen infrastructure (storage, transportation, charging, etc.) and the expansion of various weapons systems such as large drones, vehicles, and armoured vehicles power sources. The Korean military official said that they are hoping to engage other companies to apply various high-tech technologies to the military in the future.

Shahkar Ali

Shahkar is the regional representative for Asia covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact him directly via email or follow him on social media.
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