ADEX 2019: KAI showcases Surion Marine Attack Helicopter

by Gareth Jennings

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is to convert its Surion utility helicopter into an armed assault platform for the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (RoKMC).

A model of the Korea Aerospace Industries Surion Marine Attack Helicopter at ADEX 2019 shows the 20 mm Gatling gun and EO/IR sensor in the nose and the stub-wing-mounted hardpoints. (IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings)

A model of the Korea Aerospace Industries Surion Marine Attack Helicopter at ADEX 2019 shows the 20 mm Gatling gun and EO/IR sensor in the nose and the stub-wing-mounted hardpoints. (IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings)

A scale model of the Marine Attack Helicopter (MAH) was displayed for the first time at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX), taking place from 15 to 20 October.

As the model and associated literature show, the MAH is fitted with the same chin-mounted 20 mm Gatling gun and nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret as the KAI Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) being developed for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA). It has six hardpoints mounted on stub wings, with the model displayed showing a combination of 70 mm rocket pods, as well as quad-launchers and dual-launchers for air-to-surface and anti-armour missiles.

As with the LAH, the Surion Light Utility Helicopter from which the MAH is derived has been developed by KAI in partnership with Airbus Helicopters. This common heritage is reflected in the highly similar Gatlin gun and EO/IR turret configurations. The LAH was, and remains, the only platform in its class to feature a turreted 20 mm cannon under the nose. “This is not an easy thing to integrate,” Airbus Helicopters has previously said, adding, “There are all sorts of issues with weight, centre of gravity, and recoil, but [we have] the skills.” Airbus Helicopters appears to have used the skills and the lessons learned from the Surion LAH to do the same for the Surion MAH.

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Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is to convert its Surion utility helicopter into an armed assault p...

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