Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
10 March 2010
Also Known As: Korean Utility Helicopter and KUH
Origin: South Korea
Airbus Helicopters and KAI Korea Aerospace Industries
Parent System: Surion
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2012
Maiden Flight: 10 March 2010
Total Production: 245
Total Cost: USD$8.0 billion
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Description: The Korean Helicopter Program (KHP) is meant to provide the Republic of Korea Army with 245 military transport helicopters beginning in 2011 or 2012. The KHP helicopters will replace the existing fleet of US-built utility and liaison helicopters operated by the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA). In December 2005, the Government of the Republic of Korea selected Eurocopter as the primary partner of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the KHP development and production. The Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH), also known as Surion, will be the basis for several versions to be available by 2015 such as: armed/combat helicopter; Lynx Search and Rescue helicopter; Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC); and a civilian helicopter.
Overall, KHP program is valued at $6-$8 billion including a 6-year development phase beginning 2006 through 2011 and the production phase expected to last 10 years beginning in 2011/2012. Eurocopter will supply transmission and autopilot subassemblies for the helicopter to KAI as the prime contractor. Eurocopter shares 30 percent in development and 20 percent in production phases. A 50/50 joint venture was anticipated to sell KHP to export customers. KAI/Eurocopter market forecast established that 250 such machines could be sold over 20 years.
On 12 April 2006 Republic of Korea's DAPA (Defense Acquisition Program Administration) took the final decision on KHP helicopter program. KAI in partnership with Eurocopter was set to develop and produce 245 military utility helicopters with deliveries taking place from 2011 onwards. In July 2006, General Electric and Samsung Techwin signed a contract to develop the T700 turboshaft for the KHP helicopter program at the Farnborough air show. The turboshaft to be provided to the Korean helicopter is the T700/701K model.
The KUH Surion specification refers to an 8-ton class helicopter accommodating a two-man crew and up to 11 troops with a flight endurance of more than two hours. The aircraft would be provided with a wide range of the latest technological advancements. The first prototype successfully completed its maiden flight on March 10, 2010.
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