North Korea's Crashed Drones May Have Been Made In China

Two North Korean drones that recently crashed in South Korea (plus another that crashed last October) bear an uncanny resemblance to the Sky-09P, a bargain-basement UAV made by China TranComm Technologies.

The drones not only feature a gullwing configuration identical to that of the Sky-09P, their slapdash blue paint jobs can't disguise the remarkably similar style and layout of their hard points.

As one might expect, pointed questions being asked of China TranComm Technologies are being met with a great wall of denial. “We have nothing to do with this,” stated a spokeswoman for China TranComm Technologies who insisted on anonymity. “We have never publicly sold these drones.”

That may indeed be the case but c'mon now... what company is going to sell (A) military-spec drones publicly, and (B) to North Korea of all people? Private sales are another matter, mind you, and it only makes sense that any company involved in selling UAVs to The Hermit Kingdom is going to do so as privately as possible.

Thus it must have been exceedingly embarrassing to both China TranComm Technologies and the North Korean government when not one, not two, but THREE of the rather primitive and unarmed remote-controlled aircraft crashed on South Korean territory. The first crashed in Gangwon province last October according to South Korea’s Ministry of Defence, who revealed that information for the first time last week.

As for the drones themselves, they're not to be confused with state-of-the-art UAVs like the U.S. Air Force's MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper. A better analogue would be radio-controlled, gasoline engined, propeller-driven model aircraft favored by advanced hobbyists. The Sky-09P's specs are displayed at the China TranComm Technologies website but be advised the company isn't accepting orders... at least, not publicly. (via Ingorae IT Diary, South China Morning Post, and North Korea Tech)