Kamikaze attacks can utterly devastate an enemy's morale but come at a steep price — namely, the pilot's life. But what if there is no pilot? What if it's just a kamikaze drone aimed straight at the heart of North Korean military targets?
South Korea's aptly named the Devil Killer fits that bill; it's a portable kamikaze UAV currently under development by Korea Aerospace Industries in conjunction with Konkuk and Hanyang Universities. It measures five feet in length and weighs approximately 25kg. When unfolded, its boasts a four foot wingspan. The Devil Killer will be powered by an electric motor and reportedly reach speeds in excess of 400km/h, allowing it to strike North Korean targets up to 40km away in just 10 minutes.
While the UAV's exact range and munition type remain under wraps, this long-range suicide machine functions similarly to the American Switchblade UAV in that it can be pre-programmed to travel a specific flight path, or rely on its on-board GPS and video camera to identify and automatically eliminate targets of opportunity while in flight. If a suitable target isn't available, the Devil Killer will return to base for retrieval.
"After [the Devil Killer] moves to the target point along the pre-programmed route, which is designated with navigation points, the operator can identify targets through the forward-looking camera image and then commence either a manual or automatic strike," said KAI during a progress report given at the Joint Chief of Staff's joint weapons system development seminar in Seoul recently.
The system must still undergo further testing and development before it enters service, but KAI hopes to be ready to darken the skies above Pyongyang — only if necessary, of course — with flocks of Devil Killers by 2015. [Daily Mail — Flight Global — Armed Forces Intl — Fox News — KAI]