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MADEX 2023: KAI to integrate Archerfish onto Surion MCH

A model of the Surion MCH displayed at MADEX 2023. (Janes/Chinmay Kohad)

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and BAE Systems signed a contract agreement on 8 June to support delivery of the UK company's Archerfish Mine Neutralisation System (AMNS) for integration onto the KAI KUH-1 Surion mine-countermeasures helicopter (MCH).

The total number of AMNS units to be delivered to KAI under the agreement, which was signed at the MADEX 2023 exhibition held in Busan, is unknown. However, KAI intends to fit the MCH with four Archerfish systems and an associated launcher.

The AMNS will be integrated onto the Surion MCH alongside one Teledyne Gavia autonomous underwater vehicle for deep-sea mine detection and Northrop Grumman's Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) to detect floating mines and shallow-water mines. Agreements to integrate these systems onto the Surion MCH were finalised earlier in the first quarter of 2023.

Another capability to be integrated into the helicopter will be a chin-mounted electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) system.

In January 2022 South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration awarded KAI a KRW345 billion (USD264.9 million) contract to design the Surion MCH for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

Development of the platform is scheduled to be completed by 2026. KAI's Marineon amphibious mobile helicopter, which is being developed for the RoK Marine Corps (RoKMC), will be adapted for the MCH design. The new helicopter will also adopt avionics and software from the Marineon and KAI's Light Armed Helicopter (LAH).

The RoKN intends to operate the Surion MCH from its Nampo- and Wonsan-class minelayers or the Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship.

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