South Korea has awarded Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) a 302-billion-won ($235 million) contract to deliver 10 Light Armed Helicopters for the army.
KAI will begin delivery of the aircraft by 2024, including training, maintenance, and spares, The Korean Herald reported.
The award comes after the Defense Acquisition and Program Administration approved a 5.75-trillion-won ($4.5 billion) plan to mass produce the helicopters through 2031.
Air Attack Role
The helicopter will replace the military’s aging 500MD and Bell AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters, both of US origin.
The Light Armed Helicopter will be Korea’s second domestic helicopter after KAI’s KUH-1 Surion utility helicopter.
The aircraft is expected to perform a range of missions including light attack, close air support, escort, and troop transportation.
The chopper will be armed with a 20-millimeter turret machine gun, guided air-to-surface missiles, and rockets, The Korean Herald reported.
It will also feature a digital cockpit including a smart multi-functional display and an integrated electronic map computer.
The platform will also be equipped with the Korean Army’s tactical data link, “automatic pilot system, high-performance target acquisition, and designation system, and helmet-mounted displays.”