SEOUL -- South Korea's new military roadmap for future weaponry came up with the idea of introducing a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system for mobile weapon systems such as stealth tanks and securing technology on lightweight high-strength armor.
The roadmap was presented by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), an arms procurement agency controlled by the defense ministry, on July 20 at a workshop attended by representatives from private defense companies as well as state and private research bodies.
DAPA suggested that mobile weapon systems powered by combustion engines can gradually evolve into unmanned, high-performance, and miniaturized systems by combining them with eco-friendly electric energy, remote control, and artificial intelligence technologies.
Hydrogen fuel cells, which have high energy density, use hydrogen as fuel to produce electricity. A propulsion system using hydrogen fuel cells can secure quietness because it makes much less noise than diesel engines, serving as the basis for operating and developing mobile weapons systems in various forms such as stealth tanks in the future, the agency said.
"This event seems to have provided a good opportunity to present a paradigm shift for the operation of mobile weapon systems as well as an innovative direction for future Army operational plans," Brigadier General Cho Hyun-ki, a senior DAPA official, said in a statement on July 20.
The agency said that the use of new materials from private companies for developing lightweight and high-strength armor can advance the operation of flying tactical vehicles in the future.
Hydrogen fuel cell drones with an extended flight time could become a game-changer in the global market for unmanned flying systems. Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI), a drone solution provider in South Korea, has been involved in a government project to supply hydrogen fuel cell drones for military use.
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