The Hyundai Rotem Group has showcased the prototype of its futuristic Defence Drone at the ongoing show. The multipurpose mission vehicle is based on hydrogen fuel cell and is designed for surveillance and reconnaissance. The vehicle is designed to have a cruising range of 450-500 km and would be capable of both remote and autonomous driving. Equipped with front and back independent steering system, Defence Drone has a Remote-Control Weapon Station installed and performs the mission based on the video of the drone on board.
“It is a totally new concept and one for the future,” says Seung Yong Lee, Senior Research Engineer with the Hyundai Rotem Advanced Technology Research team.
“This is going to being about a big improvement in operational capability. It is for the South Korean military, but I am confident that the vehicle will have takers in the international market as well.” About two years in development, the Defence Drone is expected to enter the market in 2025-2026. “We are considering making a commercial version of the vehicle, but we certainly have the military version as our priority,” said Yong Lee.
The use of hydrogen fuel cell technology on the drone is part of Hyundai’s overall focus. The South Korean Ministries of National Defence (MND), Environment, and Trade, Industry & Energy are cooperating with Hyundai Motor Company and Doosan Mobility Innovation to deploy hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles for the Armed Forces. A hydrogen refueling station is also in the works. The MND will purchase 10 hydrogen buses in a pilot program and study the feasibility of using hydrogen drones for military use.
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