Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) have entered into a contract on May 17 to collaborate on the development of a “micro-satellite system SAR verification satellite (K model)” valued at X67 billion won. The agreement is set to span approximately four years, concluding in June 2027. During this period, KAI will undertake satellite development, as well as the launch and mission testing of the satellite in outer space.

This project marks a significant step in KAI’s strategic plan to expand its satellite offerings beyond mid- and large-sized satellites to include ultra-small satellites. The aim is to foster the industrialization of satellite exports, which plays a crucial role in the emerging Newspace sector. This expansion aligns with KAI’s goal of utilizing its satellite mass production infrastructure.

For the past three decades, KAI has been a key player in the domestic space industry, actively participating in various medium and large satellite development projects. These projects encompassed multi-purpose practical satellites, geostationary satellites, and next-generation medium-sized satellites.

In 2018, KAI established the largest private space center in the nation, which facilitates the entire satellite design, production, and testing process under one roof. The facility is equipped with the necessary infrastructure to mass-produce six to eight medium-large satellites and over 20 micro-satellites.

Additionally, KAI has been actively pursuing package exports that integrate aircraft and diverse satellite platforms. Leveraging its expertise in aircraft export marketing and global sales network, the company aims to enter the high-value satellite service market.

Lee Chang-han, head of KAI’s Space Systems Research Division, expressed his optimism about the project, stating, “If this project is successfully completed, we will have a space business heritage for the development and launch of medium and large-sized satellites and micro-satellites. Through this, we expect to strengthen our competitiveness in the fiercely competitive global space market.”

In January, KAI unveiled its Global KAI 2050 vision, which identifies space business as one of the six core areas for future growth.


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