Friday, July 5, 2019

South Korea’s KAI conducts maiden flight of light armed helicopter

The KAI LAH during its 20-minute first flight on 4 July 2019. Photo c/o KAI.

South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has successfully conducted the first flight of its new Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) prototype on 4 July 2019.

The flight test was made after getting an approval from a flight readiness review conducted on June 2019, and after the first engine ground test was conducted on April 2019.

The KAI LAH is based on the Airbus Helicopters H155 (formerly Eurocopter EC155 B1) Dauphin, and was developed to replace the MD Helicopters MD500 armed scout and Bell AH-1J/S Cobra attack helicopters in service with the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA). The RoKA requires around 200 new LAHs starting 2022.

The LAH is powered by Safran’s Arriel 2L2 turboshaft engine, considered the most powerful variant of the Arriel family and was co-developed with South Korea’s Hanwha Techwin. Hanwha Techwin will also be responsible for license-building the engines, as well as conducting maintenance, repair and overhaul in South Korea.

The LAH will have a 20mm rotary-type gun under its nose, and is designed to carry rocket pods or anti-tank missiles in its stub wings. It also has an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor on its nose, missile warning receivers on its tail and fuselage, and upward-directed exhausts to reduce IR signature.

[1] Flight Global
[2] Jane’s Defence Weekly
[3] South Korean Military Channel

No comments:

Post a Comment