Appearing at Eurosatory for the first time, Korea Aerospace Industries (Hall 5, Stand K490) is promoting its Surion multipurpose helicopter, which was developed with input from Airbus Helicopters.
KAI is marketing the Surion around the world for a range of duties, concentrating initially on existing customers for its fixed-wing aircraft, such as Indonesia, Iraq, Peru and the Philippines.
Developed initially to meet a Republic of Korea Army requirement for a utility transport helicopter, the prototype of the KUH-1 first flew on 10 March 2010, and about 50 have been delivered from a requirement for more than 200. KAI has also developed a number of related versions, and has delivered three to the Korean police. A firefighting variant for the forestry department is currently being produced.
In the maritime domain, the type is being built for the Korean marines to provide a ship-to-shore assault capability.
KAI has also schemed an anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare version for a ROK Navy requirement. A government decision on whether to buy this aircraft or an imported type is expected some time this year.
In its KUH-1 version, the helicopter typically carries nine troops, with a crew of four (two pilots, two gunners). Power is provided by two Hanwha Techwin-built General Electric T700-701K turboshafts, a reardrive version of the engine that also powers the H-60 family and AH-64.