Korean Utility Helicopter prototype rolled out at Sacheon
Three years after the launch of the Korean Helicopter Program in 2006, Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Eurocopter rolled out the first Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH) prototype in the presence of the President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak.
The maiden flight of this prototype is planned for the early months of 2010 and a serial production will start for 245 helicopters for the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA). Scheduled to be deployed in 2012, the Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH) is a military transport helicopter in the eight metric ton class destined to replace existing utility helicopters in the South Korean Army fleet.
As KAI’s primary partner, Eurocopter has a dual role in this development : on one side develops and delivers gear boxes, rotor mast and autopilot for the KUH, on the other side it provides technical assistance through dispatching experts to Korea.
In 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has also been signed at the Seoul Airshow between KAI and Eurocopter for the creation of a Joint Venture company to commercialise the KUH in export market, which is estimated to reach an order of 300 helicopters worldwide.