South Korea’s military is considering employing an accelerated acquisition process to purchase Israeli-made early warning optical drone detection systems as part of efforts to bolster its capabilities to detect small North Korean drones, a defense source in Seoul said Sunday.
According to some reports, like one from Yonhap, the move comes as the South’s defense authorities have come under fierce criticism for the failure to counter the penetration of five North Korean drones into its airspace late last month. It was belatedly revealed that one of them even intruded into the no-fly zone, called P-73, near the presidential office in the central district of Yongsan.
In order to beef up its airspace defense system, the military is considering pushing for the speedy acquisition of the Sky Spotter system, according to the source.
Built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, it is designed for the early detection and tracking of such aerial objects, including drones, as well as balloons and kites, that are used for terrorist attacks.
The military plans to decide whether to formally request the purchase of the system following a review in the coming weeks on its effectiveness in countering the North’s drone threats, especially in making up for the radars and thermal observation devices currently in operation.