The Busan Port Authority (BPA), the operator of the world's sixth-largest port, forged a partnership with Busan Newport Security Company, a state-run maritime security firm, to start the operation of the patrol boat in April 2022. BPA and the security firm have collaborated to design, develop and demonstrate the unmanned boat. The boat will be used to monitor areas that pose safety risks such as outdated quay walls where ships can moor. The 1.8-meter-long boat is equipped with a high-performance camera.
"About 20 million won ($16,300) was injected to develop the unmanned boat," BPA official Koo do-hyung told Aju Business Daily on March 28. According to BPA, additional unmanned boats will be adopted depending on the performance.
Various unmanned vessels are being developed in South Korea to reduce maritime accidents. In January 2022, an unmanned vessel developed by Busan Coast Guard was deployed to Busan to carry out various missions such as collecting oil adsorbents in risky areas where regular ships cannot access. In June 2020, South Korea's major defense contractor LIG Nex 1 partnered with the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) to develop, demonstrate and commercialize unmanned patrol boats through a 25.7 billion won state project.
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