Air Platforms

KAI begins ground trials for LAH

08 April 2019

The Korean Aerospace Industries Light Attack Helicopter developed for the Republic of Korea Army, seen during engine trials on 8 April. Source: KAI

Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) has begun ground-based engine trials of the Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) it has developed for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA), national media has reported.

An image of the first prototype helicopter performing the tests at KAI's Sacheon facility was released by the company on 8 April, about four months after the same prototype was rolled out for the first time on 18 December 2018.

The LAH has been developed around the Airbus Helicopters H155 (formerly the EC155 B1) twin-engined platform. A main feature of the LAH is the turreted 20 mm Gatling-gun under its nose. It also features stub wings provisioned to carry rocket pods, as well as a nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, fuselage- and tail-mounted missile warning receivers, and upwards-directed exhausts for a reduced IR signature.

The RoKA has a programme of 214 LAH helicopters, with entry into service slated for 2022/3. Speaking at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) in 2015, Airbus Helicopters officials said the company expects to sell 300-400 LAH platforms to international customers.

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