28-Jul-2014 Source: KAI
KAI selected as a LCH/LAH developer to tow the development of the aviation industry and strengthening of self-reliant defense simultaneously
– Targets exports of 600 units, putting total sales to 1,000.
– Lays the groundwork for the new growth engine along with the KF-X project in the future aviation industry.
Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd.(KAI), an only and sole Korean aircraft carrier takes charge of developing the Light Armed Helicopters(LAH) and Light Civil Helicopters(LCH) which are able to tow development of Korea’s domestic aviation industry and reinforcing the Korean military’s aviation strength simultaneously.
Both the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced on the 21st that “KAI was selected as a preferred bidder for the core technology development of the LCH project and the system development of the LAH project.”
With this selection, KAI will establish a LCH/LAH development plan, including selection of overseas system developers as well as local and foreign vendors and will be solely responsible for the system development of those two projects. The conclusion ceremony of the LCH/LAH development contracts is expected to be held in November.
The LCH/LAH project, driven jointly by both MOTIE and DAPA is a project which connects and develops the 10,000lb-class light armed helicopter and the light civil helicopter all together and its total development budget in local investment is forecasted to be more than approximately one(1) trillion won. Assisted by the government, KAI plans to draw foreign direct investment as well.
The LCH, driven by MOTIE for development will replace the foreign-made helicopters operated in Korea and will be used for diverse purposes, including emergency services, coastal surveillance and passenger transportation.
KAI plans to set out for development of the LCH earlier than the LAH and complete the development by 2020, given its development efficiency and budget saving.
Currently, KAI is in negotiations with Agusta Westland, Italy, Airbus, the Europe, Bell, the U.S.A., and Sikorsky, the U.S.A., all of which offered their participation intentions in the development of the LCH.
In the meantime, designed for substituting for Korea’s old and superannuated 500 MDs and AH-1Ss, attack helicopters, the LAH project is being driven by the DAPA.
The Korean military fixed a plan for deploying and operating the high-class attack helicopter and the low-class armed helicopter as its army aviation aircraft in order to reinforce Korea’s aviation strength in 2009 and has since driven development of a Korean-made Light Armed Helicopter, or LAH.
Intending to make use of the civil and military parts which were acquired via the development of the LCH, KAI plans to secure its armed and fire control system ability of the LAH through international technology cooperation, scheduled for completion by 2022.
Via the development of the KT-1 basic trainer and the T-50 advanced trainer as well as the KUH or Korea Utility Helicopter, KAI has continued to secure its aircraft development ability and infrastructure,” said an official at KAI.” “The company got everything in readiness to make a successful development of the KF-X and the LAH/LCH project, core ones which will tow rapid progress in the local aviation industry and strengthening of self-reliance defense.”