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South Korea to develop key technologies for next-generation helicopters

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) have signed an agreement to jointly develop the software component for the active vibration control system (AVCS) that will equip the next generation of medium transport helicopters, the company announced on 15 December.

The project, which seeks to develop AVCS software that will automatically control helicopter vibrations by adjusting the angle of the rotor blades, is valued at KRW12.3 billion (USD10.4 million) and is scheduled to start in December 2021 and to be completed in December 2025, KAI said.

The company added that within that period it plans to develop the AVCS technology, test it, and prove its performance by integrating it onto a final KUH-1 Surion prototype helicopter.

KAI said that an agreement was also signed the previous day with the Defense Technology Promotion Research Institute and that this will be an industry-university-research institutes joint development project. The consortium also includes Seoul National University, Chungnam National University, and Gyeongsang National University.

This is the last of a series of initiatives awarded to KAI in recent months to promote advanced technologies for military helicopters as part of a wider effort to reduce dependency on foreign technology and develop domestic capabilities to strengthen South Korea's military.

On 27 October, KAI secured a KRW4 billion contract from the country's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) to fast-track the development of a new manned-unmanned-teaming (MUM-T) system for use by locally developed helicopters in service with the Republic of Korea (RoK) military.

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