Airbus Helicopters will join with Korea Aerospace Industries to develop two 5-ton class rotorcraft that meet South Korea’s requirements for its next-generation Light Civil Helicopter (LCH) and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH). The LCH version is expected to enter service in 2020, and the LAH is targeted to enter service in 2022.
Photo courtesy of Airbus Helicopters
The two companies already have a well-established relationship, having previously co-developed Korea’s Surion twin-engine utility transport helicopter. As part of this new commitment, Airbus Helicopters will transfer the company’s technical know-how to ensure Korea is able to develop its newest indigenous products as leading next-generation light rotorcraft in the five metric ton weight category.
“The LCH and LAH programs will build on our collaboration with Korea Aerospace Industries on the Surion, which has become a reference in successful rotorcraft collaboration. By continuing our relationship, we will significantly reduce the risks of these two new development programs, while meeting all of the mission requirements,” said Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury.
Both the LCH and LAH will be based on Airbus Helicopters’ H155 (formerly known as the EC155) – the latest evolution of its Dauphin family. The H155 features the same digital four-axis autopilot that Republic of Korea pilots have come to appreciate when flying the Surion, and ensures outstanding hover performance in extreme conditions, along with highly accurate settings for altitude, speed and heading.
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