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North Korea copies U.S. models of spy and combat drones

North Korea copies U.S. models of spy and combat drones North Korea (DPRK) has copied models of spy and combat drones from the USA (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

North Korea has presented two new drones that closely resemble well-known American models. This indicates that Pyongyang is on its way to developing combat and reconnaissance drones, according to NK News.

The exact start date of Pyongyang's development of the new drones is unknown; however, their emergence occurred approximately two and a half years after the party congress held in January 2021. During this congress, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the military to create "unmanned striking means" and "reconnaissance drones" with a flight range of 500 km.

Both aircraft were presented at the "Weapons and Equipment Exhibition 2023" held in Pyongyang. Each of the drone models bears the words "KPA" (Korean People's Army) and serial numbers.

One of the models, with a wingspan of 20 meters, was showcased at the exhibition equipped with two different types of rockets mounted under its wings, resembling the American combat UAV MQ-9 Reaper.

The North Korean copy of the MQ-9 features a total of six weapon stations, with three on each wing, armed with rockets similar to the American Hellfire missiles. In comparison, the US version of the MQ-9 has two weapon stations on each wing, totaling four.

The other drone model closely resembles the US Air Force's RQ-4A Global Hawk aircraft.