Korea also decided to purchase four RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawks between 2018 and 2019.
The unmanned aerial vehicle is expected to help the country independently counter possible North Korean missile and nuclear attacks without U.S. aid.
“The high-altitude UAV is a key weapon system for a kill chain by monitoring North Korea around the clock to detect early signs of provocations,” DAPA said in a release.
The kill chain is a pre-emptive missile destruction system along with the independent, low-tier missile shield, or the Korea Air and Missile Defense System, Seoul’s core response to Pyongyang’s missile threats.
The RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk, a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft, carries multiple sensors and is the most advanced surveillance aircraft in the U.S. Air Force fleet. It can fly for up to 32 hours, while carrying a 1,360 kilogram payload, with a maximum altitude of 18.3 kilometers.