The Night Intruder 600VT is a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for reconnaissance missions. Its width is 2m and length is 9m with 2.5m height. Maximum takeoff weight reaches up to 600kg, but KAI noted more than 750kg would also be possible. Duration of flight is reportedly 6 hours. KAI’s handout did not show the range of operation, but a company representative told Naval News that it would be around 180km.
The UAV pamphlet distributed by KAI summarized the aerial vehicle’s main functions as the following: land, ship-based automatic VTOL system, localized key flight control program, capabilities of loading various mission equipment (EO, IR, SAR, etc) and overcoming GPS jamming or disturbance with a patented software, multiple key flight equipment and dual communication based on C-Band and UHF.
A well-informed person from KAI at its booth at MADEX said in an interview with Naval News that KAI began to plan the UAV in 2017 and developed the unmanned system in 2019. According to him, significant advancement in relevant technology will be completed by the end of 2021.
The unmanned reconnaissance helicopter originally had two seats, but KAI changed the plan to render UAVs. Space for piloting seats of the prototype were mainly substituted by jamming equipment, flight control components, and an antenna communicator, etc. The aerial vehicle will be operated by the Ground Control System (GCS) with two screens, and two pilot-based and observer-based ground communication components will connect the UAV and its GCS. This integration will enable both manual and automatic takeoff or landing or flight, he explained.
When Naval News asked about the possibility of deploying UAVs on ships, KAI indicated that automatic VTOL technology for naval vessels is also in progress, but the Night Intruder 600VT prototype has not been produced yet. He implied, “The modification of its VTOL system to fit well with a flight deck will require some significant time for technical reasons”.
According to the interview with KAI, the Night Intruder 600VT has only 2 rotor blades for the purpose of noise reduction, instead of 3 or 4 blades that are commonly adopted by other helicopters. KAI noted that, however, the number of rotor blades can be added if necessary, because changing a design of the unmanned helicopter is not technically difficult.
The guide briefly explained about the Next Corps Surveillance UAV known as Multirole Tactical UAV for the ROK Army, and the K-UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) which is currently only in the phase of conceptual design.