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KAI signs LAH production contract

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said it will start delivery of 10 Light Armed Helicopters to the South Korean army from December 2024. (Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI))

The South Korean government has signed a KRW302 billion (USD236 million) deal with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to acquire the company's Light Armed Helicopter (LAH).

KAI announced the deal on 23 December. Under the conditions of the contract, KAl will supply the Republic of Korea (RoK) Army with 10 LAH units, starting in December 2024.

“The deal also requires KAI to provide integrated product support, including training for first-time operators and a maintenance float,” the company said in a statement.

According to information held by Janes , the LAH has been developed around the Airbus Helicopters H155 (formerly the EC155 B1) twin-engined helicopter. Images of the LAH show the aircraft armed with a turreted 20 mm cannon under its nose. It is also equipped with a nose-mounted electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor on the nose.

KAI said that the LAH has been equipped with advanced technologies. These include an “automatic pilot system, high-performance target acquisition and designation system, and helmet-mounted displays [to] enhance the mission capabilities of pilots”, the company said.

According to KAI, the helicopter is equipped with a digital cockpit that includes a smart multifunctional display and an integrated electronic map computer. “Moreover, the helicopter boasts high quality defence systems greatly increasing the survivability of its pilots,” the company added.

According to Janes data, the LAH has fuselage- and tail-mounted missile warning receivers and upwards-directed exhausts to reduce the aircraft's infrared (IR) signature.

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