Photo courtesy of Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd. / CC BY 2.0
South Korea’s national forestry service has ordered a firefighting version of Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd.’s twin-engine utility Surion, the manufacturer said, adding that the order is worth $17.6 million (20.5 billion won). With a fleet 45, the Korea Forest Service is reported to have the most civil governmental helicopters in the country. Most of those include Kamov Ka-32s. The service’s Surion will be delivered by the end of 2017 and fitted with a 528-gal (2,000-l) water tank and a rescue hoist. KAI developed the Surion with Airbus Helicopters to provide an indigenous option for replacing the South Korean army’s MD Helicopters MD-500s and Bell Helicopter UH-1s as well as meeting other national vertical-lift requirements.