Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) has disclosed that its partner companies have successfully developed key aircraft-related software that could make it possible for the country to do away with approximately 32.8 billion won of imports through 2020. The announcement was made by KAI, Korea's sole aircraft manufacturer and total system integrator, which operates the Aerospace IT Innovation Center (AITIC), on September 22. The center was created in May 2013 with support of the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) with the aim of promoting small-sized IT enterprises through increased R&D partnerships between large and small firms.
The KAI, located in Sacheon near Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, said that the six companies, members of the Aerospace IT Innovation Center, have localized five technologies and commercialized three others, such as navigation for use in civilian helicopters, power modules for anti-submarine warfare aircraft and imbedded training software. Contracts have already been signed for commercial development of three technologies.
Of particular note, the 3D navigation system with 50-cm image resolution, which is featured in the SURION police helicopter through the contract with the KAI, is a “world first." Kodea, the developer of the system, anticipates that it will turn over 4 billion won each year by 2020.
KAI and the six companies, including DA Innovation, HUONE, and Kodea, received 1.8 billion won in state support about an year ago, the aerospace company said. It said the effect of import substitution from the creation of softwares could amount to 32.8 billion won through 2020. The remaining three companies are JNS, Navcours and Korea Cyber Engineering Innovation (KCEI).
In line with the rapid growth of the domestic aerospace industry, much progress is expected in the development of aerospace IT convergence products, such as navigations, graphic cards and power modules, KAI said. It forecast that the AITIC partners will likely earn 370 billion won in the next 15 years from products they have made so far.
The Aerospace IT Innovation Center participated in an air show held in Singapore in February this year for the promotion of exports of its partner firms, while striving to address the domestic demand on new aircraft technologies.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy forecast that the global aerospace IT market could expand to US$313.9 billion by 2017 from US$84.5 billion in 2012. The domestic aerospace IT market totaled US$4.6 billion. According to Boeing Company, aerospace IT and embedded software of a new aircraft accounts for roughly 80% of its functions and 45% out of total aircraft value
In addition, another six companies have been tapped to develop various types of software that can be used on aircraft, drones and other applications. These include noise-reducing headsets, standard control software for automatic aircraft production systems, big-data storage modules and embedded security software for electronic gear and high-resolution infrared image condensing and cryptographic software for drones. The firms tapped to develop these new aerospace technologies include Pax Disk, HKS and EG power.
By taking advantage in its prowess in the aviation industry, KAI will continue its efforts to help small-sized companies nurture global competitiveness in aviation related software areas. The Aerospace IT Innovation Center is striving to commercialize five aerospace IT convergence products with the world's highest-level value added and nurture three SMEs with global competitiveness in terms of aerospace IT convergence.