Boeing has demonstrated affordable unmanned aircraft technology that could be integrated onto Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) MD 500 helicopters to expand the fleet’s mission capabilities.
A Boeing Unmanned Little Bird (ULB) demonstrator aircraft, a variant of the highly successful MD 500 helicopter, autonomously flew for approximately 25 minutes at the ROKA Aviation School in Nonsan. The demonstration showcased proven pilotless capabilities available for integration onto rotorcraft to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), resupply and other missions.
Korean Air supported transportation of the ULB for today’s demonstration. Korea Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD) assembled ROKA MD 500s from 1976 to 1987 under license from Boeing heritage companies Hughes Helicopters and McDonnell Douglas. KAL delivered approximately 500 MD 500s to Hughes Helicopters, opening the Korean aircraft export market.