South Korea recently announced that a new version of its Remoeye-002A UAV (Remoeye-002B) was entering front line service with army and marine units on the DMZ. There these mini-UAVs would be used to keep an eye on North Korea forces across the five kilometer wide DMZ.
Remoeye-002B is a 3.4 kg (7.5 pound) UAV with a 1.8 meter (5.8 foot) wingspan. It can stay in the air for 70 minutes per sortie and has a max speed of 80 kilometers an hour. It can operate up to 10 kilometers from its operator and carries day and night vidcams that can transmit real time video. The smaller (two kg) Remoeye-002A entered service in 2006 and it was so successful that development on the larger B model began in 2012. An improved version of the 002B is in the works but the B model is expected to remain in service until 2017.
It was only in 2014 that South Korea military admitted that it had put two locally developed and built UAV designs in service several years earlier. This revelation was in response to the discovery of Chinese made SKY-09P UAVs used by North Korea to spy on South Korea. These were 12 kg (26 pound) delta wing aircraft with a wingspan of 1.92 meters (6.25 feet).
In addition to the Remoeye-002A South Korean revealed the existence of the larger Remoeye-006 UAV. This one can carry a night vision camera, has a 2.72 meter (9 foot) wingspan, weighs 6.5 kg (14.3 pounds) and is very hard to spot with radar. The light weight and large wings of the Remoeye-006 enable it to stay aloft for up to 90 minutes moving at speeds of up to 75 kilometers an hour. The other South Korean UAV is the RQ-101. This is similar to the U.S. Army Shadow 200, which South Korea also operates. RQ-101 is a 290 kg (639 pound) aircraft with a 45 kg (99 pound) payload, endurance of six hours and able to operate up to 200 kilometers from the operator. RQ-101 is mainly used to fly along the DMZ and observe what is going on inside (up to 20 kilometers) North Korea.
Remoeye-006 and RQ-101 have both been in service since about 2005 and each has undergone several upgrades in that time. South Korea began developing its own UAVs in 2001 but does not like to publicize its locally developed military equipment much and issued the 2014 press releases on Remoeye-006 and RQ-101 to remind South Koreans that South Korea produces superior UAVs to what North Korea is using and has been doing so for a long time.