[RETRACTION NOTE: This blog was first posted with the speculation that the craft was a Schiebel S-100, and it was reported that a South Korean company called UconSystem was involved in developing a ground station system with Schiebel. ["The crashed UAV is Austrian-made, possibly the Schiebel S-100 for which the South Korean firm Uconsystem is developing a common ground control system."] Following a complaint by UconSystem stating that it is not involved with Schiebel, this speculation has been retracted from the article. I apologise personally for any misunderstanding of what was simply speculation based on reports on ties between the companies online, and I am keeping the original complaint and my response in the comments below]
The remote controlled vehicle crashed into its control unit truck, killing a Slovakian engineer, and injuring another two people inside. According to the Nikkei article, the South Korean Kyunghyang newspaper reported that the Slovakian engineer was in the truck to conduct a test flight.
The South Korean military are reported to be investigating whether the jamming of GPS signals by North Korea could have caused the crash. There have been several noted jamming incidents since April 28th, including another incident on the 10th which forced a Coast Guard helicopter to abort take off at Gimpo airport. At least 4 aircraft landing at Inchon are reported to have had GPS failures as well.
The crashed UAV is Austrian-made, possibly the Schiebel S-100 for which a South Korean firm is said to be developing ground control systems. The downed UAV is reportedly being procured by the South Korean military to patrol the Yellow Sea around the Northern Limit Line.
The news does not appear to have reached English outlets yet, but keep your eyes peeled, as this raises interesting implications not only for the South Korean military’s handling of the GPS reliability problem, but also how other states around the world might seek to impede the use of their airspace by foreign powers.
[H/T to Susumu at Surveillance to Go Nowhere]
A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan.
His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 9 post(s) on Asia Security Watch