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KAI picked as preferred bidder for S. Korea's unmanned aerial vehicle

South Korea has picked the state-funded Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) as the preferred bidder to develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for reconnaissance missions, the state procurement agency said Monday.

In an arms acquisition committee meeting, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin approved the plan to select KAI as the preferred bidder for the advanced UAVs for the main system and aircraft, LIG for the ground control and radar system, and Samsung Thales for the data link system, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a release.

"If the reconnaissance UAVs are deployed to the front-line Army, they will be capable of conducting aerial reconnaissance regardless of weather," DAPA spokesman Baek Yoon-hyun said in a briefing. "(The UAVs) would improve accuracy, cover more area and save time and greatly contribute to the (Army) Corps' tactical information gathering ability."

   The committee also selected Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering as the preferred bidder for a project to build two 3,000-ton level submarines, the agency said.

   LIG Nex1 will develop medium-sized torpedoes and battery systems and Hanwha Corporation will be in charge of making warheads for the submarines, the DAPA said. (Yonhap News)