Korea Army Helicopter programs

Test7

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A KUH-1 Surion helicopter hovers during the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercise at the Seungjin firing drill ground on Aug. 28, 2015, in Pocheon, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)​


South Korea’s arms procurement agency plans to replace its fleet of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters flown by the Army with KUH-1 Surion utility helicopters developed by Korea Aerospace Industries, according to a lawmaker.
Rep. Han Ki-ho of the main opposition People Power Party revelead the plan ahead of a parliamentary audit of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA, in the coming week.
According to the lawmaker, the DAPA has decided to retire 103 UH-60P helicopters by reversing plans to upgrade the American medium-lift helo, which as flown for about two decades.
“The UH-60 upgrade plans were revoked in May last year all of sudden,” said Han, a retired three-star Army general, citing a feasibility study conducted by the state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analyses. “Instead, the defense authorities opted for additional production of Surion helicopters.”
According to the study, it would cost some 3.3 trillion won (U.S. $2.9 billion) to producing about 130 Surion troop-carrying helicopters, which is more than five times higher than the price of UH-60 upgrades.

“Comparing to the UH-60 Black Hawk, the KUH-1 Surion has an 84 percent level of flying time and 83 percent of flying distance,” Han said. “Surion has a seat capacity of nine troops, but the UH-60 can carry 11 troops.”
Despite gaps in performances and cost, the DAPA has prioritized the economic benefit of locally producing the helos, the lawmaker said. “Ignoring the results of a credible feasibility study, the DAPA is just trying to scrap the UH-60 upgrade plans that have been on track over the last eight years since 2013,” he added.
The twin-engine KUH-1 was co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries and Airbus Helicopters, formerly known as Eurocopter, in 2009 to replace the aging fleet of UH-1Hs and 500MDs, which have been in service for decades.

KAI is scheduled to supply the South Korean Army and Marine Corps with about 220 Surion units by 2023 under contracts with the DAPA. The aircraft manufacturer also developed Surion’s light, armed version — the Light Armed Helicopter, or LAH — based on the Airbus H155.
The LAH development is a parallel effort with the Light Civil Helicopter, or LCH. The Korean firm plans to develop the 4.5-metric-ton LCH by 2021 and then modify it into the LAH by 2023. KAI rolled out an LAH prototype in December 2019.

The LAH is armed with the turreted 20mm Gatling gun under its nose. The aircraft is also mounted with 70mm rockets, missile early warning systems, and laser/radar warning receivers.
KAI plans to build about 200 LAHs to replace Bell AH-1 Cobras and older MD 500 helicopters flown by the South Korean Army.

 

Saithan

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Surion looks pretty decent, bulky, but decent.

I think it is a smart choice, give KAI time and money and they'll improve on the design and performance.
 

TR_123456

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Surion looks pretty decent, bulky, but decent.

I think it is a smart choice, give KAI time and money and they'll improve on the design and performance.
It looks more like a Cougar then a H155.

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A visitor shows her face out of the window of a US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter during a media preview day of the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition near Seoul in 2015. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images)​


SEOUL — Research on the long-awaited upgrade of Chinook helicopters flown by the South Korean military shows it would be cheaper to buy new aircraft, according to a local lawmaker.
Rep. Min Hong-chul of the ruling Democratic Party revealed the result of the latest preliminary research on the Chinook upgrade during a parliamentary audit of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration on Oct. 20.
The lawmaker, who sits on the National Assembly’s Defense Committee, said the research concluded in September that the cost of upgrading 17 of the 43 CH-47D Chinook helicopters would be about 1.35 trillion won ($1.2 billion), which is higher than the estimated cost of 1.22 trillion won for buying new ones.
The upgrade cost is partly driven by the fact that Chinook manufacturer Boeing no longer produces parts for older variants, like those owned by South Korea, so specially ordered parts could prove expensive, Min said, citing the research conducted by the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality, which is affiliated with DAPA.
Furthermore, some Korean military task equipment such as the Korean Variable Message Format data link cannot be installed on the upgraded helos due to incompatibility, the research suggested.

“A series of reverses and delays on decision-making have foiled key arms acquisition projects, including the Chinook upgrade,” Min said, expressing concern about an operational gap in military transport trainings and missions.



South Korea operates about 50 Chinooks, with some of them in service for up to 50 years. With some parts of the older Chinook no longer being produced, the South Korean fleet’s operational rate has suffered, according to the lawmaker. For instance, the Air Force’s Chinook utilization rate from the first half of the year was around 40 percent.

DAPA is expected to hold a meeting soon to decide whether to buy new heavy-lift helicopters rather than upgrade the existing fleet. But industry sources expect buying new helos would take more time and end up costing more, depending on the variant.
“To get Block I CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters, which have been on the shopping list of the South Korean Army, the letter of offer and acceptance should be issued by July next year at the latest, but it would be very difficult to finalize the decision-making procedures within the timeline,” said Ahn Seung-beom, a military analyst and writer with Defense Times Korea. “[If it doesn’t] buy Block I, South Korea has an option to get Block II, which is to be produced for the U.S. Army first, and then it could take more time and costs to get the up-to-date, heavy-lift helicopters.”
A source at Boeing told Defense News that both cost and an export license stand in the way of South Korea’s CH-47F Block II purchase.

“The development of the CH-47F Block II is still underway, so the price cannot be expected at this moment,” the source explained on condition of anonymity. “The U.S. Army has yet to place an order for the new cargo helicopters, so it’s unclear how many aircraft would be produced.”
It’s also unclear if a foreign sale will receive approval, the source added. “The U.S. government strictly controls arms technology, so getting an export license for key weapons systems is a hurdle.”

 

Test7

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Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has completed deliveries of the eight KUH-1M Surion utility helicopters configured for medical evacuation (medevac) missions that were ordered by the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) in December 2018.

South Korea’s DAPA announced on 9 November that KAI has completed deliveries of the eight KUH-1M medecav helicopters ordered by the RoKA in December 2018. (KAI)

South Korea’s DAPA announced on 9 November that KAI has completed deliveries of the eight KUH-1M medecav helicopters ordered by the RoKA in December 2018. (KAI)


South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 9 November that the twin-engined helicopters, which were acquired under a KRW220 billion (USD197.6 million) contract to improve the service’s capability to rescue troops and citizens in emergency situations, will be operated from RoKA bases at Yongin, Pocheon, and Yanggu.

DAPA, which noted that development of the medevac variant of the Surion multirole helicopter took place between 2014 and 2016, pointed out that the first two KUH-1Ms were delivered to RoKA in January and officially commissioned two months later.
 

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South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has reported that the new Light Armed Helicopter, commonly known as LAH, has been initially declared fit for combat.

DAPA’s evaluation has concluded that the LAH program can transition from the development to the pre-production phase, according to multiple reports.

The new helicopter, developed by the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), designed for replacing the Republic of Korea Army’s aged attack helicopters (MD-500, AH-1S). The LAH project is the one that aims to develop a cutting-edge armed helicopter suitable for the modern battlefield.

The LAH has been developed around the LCH (Light Civil Helicopter), a local version of the Airbus Helicopters H155 twin-engined platform. Through the synergy of maximizing commonality in subsystems and parts with LCH, KAI will reduce the development, production, and sustainment cost.
The new combat aerial platform features stub wings provisioned to carry 70mm rocket pods, as well as a nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor and a 20mm three-barreled turret gun, fuselage- and tail-mounted missile warning receivers, and upwards-directed exhausts for a reduced IR signature.
LAH conducted its first flight successfully in 2019. KAI aims to complete the development of LAH in 2022.
As of today, 3 prototype helicopters have conducted over 850 hours of test flights in the past year.


 

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The French know how to design beautiful looking aircraft, that's for sure!
Airbus H155 = Aerospatiale SA365 Dauphin 2.
 

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Korea’s Light Armed Helicopter on Production Line​

March 2, 2021
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The KF-X (Korean Fighter-eXperimental) combat aircraft prototype was introduced to the press before launch, while light armed helicopters (LAH) were also displayed on the production line, which the Republic of Korea is working on. The platform’s manoeuvring movements of up to 450 meters per minute were also displayed to the press.
Developed to replace the existing AH-1F and 500MD/Tow Defender helicopters in the inventory, the LAH was first introduced in December 2018 and made its first flight the following year.


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K Force


The LAH was developed based on a light civil helicopter (LCH), the domestic version of the Airbus Helicopters H155 twin-engine platform. The work, led by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), is planned to maximize partnership with LCH in sub-systems and parts, reducing the cost of production and operation of LAH.
The rotary wing platform draws its power from two Arriel 2L2 turboshaft engines developed by Safran Helicopter Engines and Hanwha Techwin.


 

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On Thursday 11 March 2021, South Korean media reported that the Daehanminguk Yuk-gun (RoK Army, Republic of Korea Army) decided to buy an additional 36 attack helicopters. The total number of attack helicopters will rise to 72.

According to information published, the RoK Army prefers to buy the latest version of the AH-64E Apache Guardian. With the acquisition of more attack helicopters, the Bell AH-1S Cobras will be phased out.

The RoK Army currently operates two AH-64E Apache Guardian battalions and two AH-1S Cobra battalions. The AH-64E battalions are 901 Aviation Battalion and 902 Aviation Battalion, both based at Icheon G-510, which is located 45 km southeast of Seoul. The AH-1S battalions are 105 Aviation Battalion based at Jipyeong G-301 (Yangpyeong) and 109 Aviation Battalion based at Susaek G-113. The Cobra bases are located 60 km east of Seoul (Yangpyeong) respectively 10 km northwest of Seoul (Susaek).

No order has been placed yet nor have we seen information on a possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) request.

 

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Five people were injured after an Army ambulance helicopter crash-landed at a military base Monday, authorities said.

The helicopter made an emergency landing on the airstrip at an Army aviation battalion in Pocheon, 46 kilometers north of Seoul, at 10:35 a.m. while on its way to pick up a patient there, according to the Army and the local fire department.

Five crewmembers were injured, two seriously, and were moved to a nearby hospital. None of them are in a life-threatening condition, they said. The tail of the medevac chopper was partially destroyed.

"We have suspended the operations of the same type of the aircraft as of 11:10 a.m. Medical evacuation missions will be carried out by UH-60 jets," the Army said in a statement, adding they will look into the exact cause of the accident.
An Army ambulance helicopter is partially destroyed at an aviation battalion base in Pocheon, 46 kilometers north of Seoul, on July 12, 2021, after the aircraft crash-landed on the airstrip, leaving five people aboard injured. (Yonhap)

An Army ambulance helicopter is partially destroyed at an aviation battalion base in Pocheon, 46 kilometers north of Seoul, on July 12, 2021, after the aircraft crash-landed on the airstrip, leaving five people aboard injured. (Yonhap)

 

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South Korea will fund the indigenous development of an attack helicopter to support amphibious attacks, and aims to replace its fleet of ageing Boeing CH-47D Chinooks.

Seoul will spend W450 billion ($376 million) on a “Amphibious Attack Helicopter Project” through domestic research and development, said South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on 27 December 2021.

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Source: Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal
KAI promoted armed concepts of the KUH-1 Surion at 2019’s Seoul ADEX show


The programme will run from 2022-2026, to create a helicopter that can “cover aerial assault forces and reinforce the air firepower support capabilities of ground combat units during amphibious operations”.

In addition, the programme is envisaged as boosting the country’s technological base and creating jobs.

In April 2021, DAPA had said that W1.6 trillion would be spent developing and fielding an indigenous attack helicopter for South Korea’s marines, with the programme to run until 2031.

South Korea’s marines had been in the market for 24 attack helicopters capable of operating from the navy’s pair of Dokdo-class amphibious assault ships.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency has reported that the new attack helicopter will be based on the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KUH-1 Surion utility helicopter. The type already has a marine variant, the MUH-1 Marineon. KAI promoted armed versions of the rotorcraft at the 2019 and 2021 iterations of the Seoul ADEX Defense Show.

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Source: Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal
A South Korean army CH-47D at Seoul ADEX in 2019


DAPA will also tap the international market to replace the Korean army’s CH-47Ds. This programme will run from 2022-2028, and carry a cost of W1.4 trillion.

Cirium fleets data shows that the South Korean army operates 34 CH-47Ds, with an average age of 37.2 years. In the 2010s Seoul considered upgrading these rotorcraft, but subsequently decided it would be cheaper to replace them.

The Chinook replacement could see a major competition, likely drawing interest from Boeing with the CH-47F and Sikorsky with CH-53K King Stallion.

In addition, DAPA plans to develop an unmanned air vehicle that can operate from destroyers. This project will run from 2023-2031, and bear a development cost of W570 billion.

 

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I hope KAI can enter the tenders that Morocco has as we speak for transport helicopters. Are there any plans to make a bigger helicopter than KUH-1 similar to black hawk?
So far, KAI has only entered in one foreign helicopter program and that was in Philippines. Philippine Air Force was looking to import 11 helicopters and KAI offered the Korean Army KUH-1 model to Philippines. They've lost to Sikorsky's UH-60. Maybe they still have ambitions to offer Surion abroad, but I'm not really sure. Maybe we'll see it in Morocco as well.

Yes, there's a long term plan to develop a larger helicopter that would replace H-60 variants in service within Korean Army. Right now they are conducting preliminary studies and according to public information, they are considering designs based on contra-rotating rotor coupled with pusher propeller and tilt-rotor, so basically following the steps of US Army and their FVL program. Although US Army chose V-280 for FLRAA, Korea is still considering both options since Korean Army requirements are quite different compared to what US Army wanted from FLRAA. In terms of experience designing rotorcrafts featuring these kinds of designs, Korea actually has more experience designing a tilt-rotor aircraft thanks to various tilt-rotor UAV research and development programs of the past. Though I personally thinkg that the Army prefers the contra-rotating rotor + pusher configuration. Apart from these UAV programs, two different classes of turboshaft engines are under development. The development of Korean gearbox for KUH-1 and LAH are also proceeding, so it's indeed an exciting time to be a Korean military fan.
 

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So far, KAI has only entered in one foreign helicopter program and that was in Philippines. Philippine Air Force was looking to import 11 helicopters and KAI offered the Korean Army KUH-1 model to Philippines. They've lost to Sikorsky's UH-60. Maybe they still have ambitions to offer Surion abroad, but I'm not really sure. Maybe we'll see it in Morocco as well.

Yes, there's a long term plan to develop a larger helicopter that would replace H-60 variants in service within Korean Army. Right now they are conducting preliminary studies and according to public information, they are considering designs based on contra-rotating rotor coupled with pusher propeller and tilt-rotor, so basically following the steps of US Army and their FVL program. Although US Army chose V-280 for FLRAA, Korea is still considering both options since Korean Army requirements are quite different compared to what US Army wanted from FLRAA. In terms of experience designing rotorcrafts featuring these kinds of designs, Korea actually has more experience designing a tilt-rotor aircraft thanks to various tilt-rotor UAV research and development programs of the past. Though I personally thinkg that the Army prefers the contra-rotating rotor + pusher configuration. Apart from these UAV programs, two different classes of turboshaft engines are under development. The development of Korean gearbox for KUH-1 and LAH are also proceeding, so it's indeed an exciting time to be a Korean military fan.
Nice! So South Korea is developing the gearbox for the KUH-1, but what about the engine? As we speak Morocco requires defense input on every deal it makes from small, to big. I would wish Morocco to go for a non-European transport helicopter such as the KUH-1 with a good price, and a percentage of local production.

Sidenote: Rumoured that Morocco is rumored to be interested in the K21 redback IFV.
 

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Nice! So South Korea is developing the gearbox for the KUH-1, but what about the engine? As we speak Morocco requires defense input on every deal it makes from small, to big. I would wish Morocco to go for a non-European transport helicopter such as the KUH-1 with a good price, and a percentage of local production.

Sidenote: Rumoured that Morocco is rumored to be interested in the K21 redback IFV.

Apart from these UAV programs, two different classes of turboshaft engines are under development.
More in detail, one is a 1000+ SHP class engine primarily meant for UAV application, whereas another project is a 3000+ SHP class engine meant for the H-60 replacement I have mentioned above. The name of this program is Korea Next Generation Medium-Class Utility Helicopter. Prototype of the 1000+ SHP turboshaft is under production whereas 3000+ SHP is a long term project.
 

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