Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has been assigned to develop Light Armed Helicopters (LAH) and Light Civil Helicopters (LCH) for South Korea.
The decision to appoint KAI to develop the country’s Light Civil Helicopter (LCH) and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) was made by the the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, as well as the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, says KAI in a statement.
“KAI was selected as a preferred bidder for the core technology development of the LCH project and the system development of the LAH project,” says KAI.
Korean Media Reports say that KAI defeated Korean Air for the bid.
A development plan by KAI to select overseas system developers for the new helicopter is underway. Agustawestland, Airbus, Bell and Sikorsky are some companies KAI has had discussions with. The companies offered their participation intentions in the development of the LCH.
KAI plans to set out for development of the LCH earlier than the LAH and complete the development by 2020, given its development efficiency and budget saving.
The LCH/LAH will be a 4.5 tonne helicopter and the expected development budget is KRW1 trillion ($978 million). The funds will come from the South Korean government and overseas investors.
KAI plans to secure its armed and fire control system ability of the LAH through international technology cooperation, scheduled for completion by 2022.
“Via the development of the KT-1 basic trainer and the T-50 advanced trainer as well as the KUH or Korea Utility Helicopter, KAI has continued to secure its aircraft development ability and infrastructure," said an official at KAI.