With ADEX 2021 Defense Aerospace Exhibition, South Korea Also Launches First Domestically Built Nuri Satellite Launch Vehicle

With ADEX 2021 Defense Aerospace Exhibition, South Korea Also Launches First Domestically Built Nuri Satellite Launch Vehicle

October 23, 2021 Off By Reem

With the curtain almost rolling down on South Korea‘s biennially-held ADEX 2021 Aerospace and Defense exhibition, the country launched its first domestically built Nuri satelite launch vehicle II.

Held from Tuesday October 19th to Saturday October 23th at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Gyeonggi, the region’s largest defense and aerospace industry exhibition allowed South Korea to re-affirm its increasing confidence in its domestic capabilities.

The country which has enjoyed world renown in producing advanced digital technology and telecommunication innovations, is now showing the same determination to see its defense and aerospace sector enjoy a more decisive role in the country’s defense procurement. To that effect, President Moon Jae-in who had arrived at the exhibit on Wednesday flying on a Korean Aerospace Industries-built FA-50 light attack aircraft subsequently pledged that « domestic defense purchases would comprise 80 percent of total defense expenditures and that domestic military equipment and maintenance expenditures would increase four-fold by 2026 » according to Korea JoongAng Daily online.

In all, 440 exhibitors from 22 countries showcased a large assortment of technologically advanced products, with South Korean companies determined to make the show theirs.

For instance, Hanwha Aerospace presented, according to JoonAng online a low earth orbiting satellite capable of transmiting data at speeds surpassing ground networks, a small sized satellite carrying a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) reportedly weighing less than 100 kilograms (220 pounds), an optical satellite boasting the world’s highest resolution (0.3 m per pixel) and the 75-ton class liquid rocket engine for the Nuri satellite launch vehicle II.

The 75-ton Rocket Engine Built Domestically By Hanwha For the Nuri Space Rocket

Another Korean company, LIG-Nex1 presented a mock-up of a hydrogen cell-fueled cargo drone with a 200 kilograms payload capability.

Then the country aerospace powerhouse, Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) put on a startling display of products.

Its Surion Marine Attack Helicopter (MAH) capable of launching multiple small unmanned aerial vehicles shown as its new concept of an electrically powered twin-seat basic training aircraft nicknamed Black Kite, or “Sorigae” was presented to the world.

Yet KAI was able to garner even more attention with the KF-21 Boramae fighter jet project and the Nuri Korean Space Launch Vehicle II.

South Korea KF-21 Boramae Stealth Fighter Aircraft

The KF-21 Boramae project involves the development of Korea’s first domestically built stealth 4.5 generation fighter plane. A multi role aircraft which will be used to control small groups of pilot-less FA-50 Light Attack Aircraft. Even though the FA-50 are already in production, KAI is responsible for upgrading them and transforming them into Unmanned Air Vehicles.

The KAI-built FA-50 Light Attack Aircraft Will Be Turned Into A Pilotless “Loyal Wingman” UAV Accompanying The KF-21

South Korea Nuri Space Launch Vehicle II

The Nuri Korean Space Launch Vehicle II, is Korea’s first attempt at producing a fully domestic space rocket after the Naro Korean Space Launch Rocket I deployed in 2013 under a Russian technical partnership. The Nuri program being scheduled to carry out a test launch on Thursday gave world exposure to the KAI’s developped powerful three-stage liquid fuel rocket. Lifting off at 4 pm Thursday from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla, the Nuri Korea Space Launch Vehicle II carried a 1.5-ton dummy payload which was intended to be put at a 600 to 800 kilometers earth orbit. While the launch was considered a success in spite of the actual orbital launch of the dummy payload having failed when the Nuri’s third stage rocket malfunctioned, the program benefited tremendously in terms of earned credibility.

This past week alone, South Korea aerospace industry took a major step forward in what has now officially become its space program.