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ADEX 2021: KAI pitches unmanned Light Armed Helicopter

A screenshot from a KAI video showing the LAH MUMT concept, released at the ADEX 2021 event in Seoul. (KAI)

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has revealed its concept for an unmanned version of the Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) it is developed for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).

The manufacturer featured the unmanned version of the LAH as part of its wider portfolio of future unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) showcased in a new concept video released to coincide with the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX), which is taking place from 19 to 24 October.

Known as LAH Manned-Unmanned Teaming (the usual initialisation is MUM-T, but KAI has given it as MUMT for the purposes of this programme), the concept would see multiple unmanned versions of the LAH flying in concert with a manned LAH, providing mass and added capabilities while reducing the risks to aircrew when operating in contested airspace.

The LAH MUMT would offer the RoKA readily available and numerous platforms for manned-unmanned teaming with not only the manned LAH, but with its Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters also. An unmanned scout and light-attack helicopter could be flown ahead of the manned LAH and/or Apaches to provide an over-the-horizon view of the battlefield, as well as used to attack sites that might pose a threat to the manned helicopters. All of this could be achieved without the expense and burden associated with introducing an entirely new aircraft type into service.

Derived from the Airbus Helicopters H155 (formerly the EC155 B1) helicopter, the LAH features a 20 mm Gatling-gun under its nose, as well as stub wings provisioned to carry rocket pods. It also carries a nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor.

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