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S. Korean Marines to establish 'dronebot' combat system

Defense 10:27 November 20, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 20 (Yonhap) -- The Marine Corps will seek to establish a drone robot combat system as part of efforts to enhance its amphibious landing capabilities, defense of northwestern border islands and operational mobility, its commandant said Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo unveiled the plan during his opening remarks for a forum on future high-tech marine battle operations.

"We will develop a 'dronebot' combat system specifically designed for amphibious landing operations, which will help overcome operational challenges and maximize efficiency," Jun said.

"The vertical take-off drone that is operable in scenarios without ships or land-based platforms and the dronebot capable of engaging in underwater or other sea-based operations will be part of the combat system optimized for amphibious landing operations," he added.

Jun also said that the Marine Corps has been developing a concept of mobilizing attack drones capable of launching multiple simultaneous attacks on an adversary to help address vulnerabilities in the opening stage of a potential armed conflict.

The marines also plan to establish a dronebot platform designed to better protect "strategic islands," such as the southern island of Jeju and western border islands near North Korea, Jun said.

"(With the platform), we will be able to end operations before the conflict reaches land, as we will be launching precision strikes with a networked firepower system and attack drones after promptly detecting signs of an enemy's provocation," he said.

Moreover, the marines pursue a "modular" dronebot system that can flexibly conduct operations to handle both military and non-military security challenges, including a disaster relief mission, the commandant said.

The military, including the Army, has been exploring the military utilities of cutting-edge technologies, such as big data, drones and robots, as part of efforts to stay abreast of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution marked by the convergence of such technologies.

This photo, taken on Oct. 19, 2018, shows Marine Corps commandant Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo speaking during a parliamentary session at at the Gyeryongdae military headquarters, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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