Boeing rolled out a latest version of AH-64 Apache helicopter destined for South Korea Tuesday.
South Korean Defense Acquisition Procurement Administration (DAPA) in a statement said the unveiling has happened months before the start of delvieries.
The choppers will be first delivered to the U.S. Army for test flights and transferred to South Korea beginning in the first half of next year, Yonhap news agency quoted DAPA officials as saying.
The DAPA signed a US$1.6 billion contract with the U.S. in a Foreign Military Sales program in 2013 to buy 36 AH-64Es, an upgraded model of the AH-64D Longbow.
The AH-64E is a heavily armed helicopter featuring more powerful, fuel-efficient engines and enhanced rotor blade technology, as well as improved aircraft handling, performance and agility at higher altitudes.
It is also equipped with improved systems for pilots' situational awareness and strikes on smaller targets.
"The Apache Guardian will greatly contribute to the strengthening of our military's combat capability by replacing aging helicopters currently in operation," said Baek Yoon-hyeong, head of the DAPA's aviation business team.