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New on the Market, the Surion

2011-10-19 Hits : 2471

 

 

 

- SURION, produced in Korea, will hit the domestic helicopter market
 

- The possibility of exporting over 300 units is higher than ever

 

 The KAI(Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd.) has announced that it has been nominated as the only negotiating party of the police agency’s procurement program of mult-role helicopter since October 19th.
 

The procurement program of mult-role helicopter aims to replace Small Single-Engine Helicopters such as the 500MD and B206, with Medium Twin-Engine Helicopters. An open bid was held to decide the model of this year’s two unit quota. The Surion(Korea, KAI), and AW139(Italy, AWIL) participated in the bid.
 

 The police agency is currently operating about 20 helicopters, but the models are getting outdated and air guard missions are increasing. 1 to 2 new units will be introduced to the force annually for 20 years.
 

 The new helicopters will carry out optional services, such as air pursuit and surveillance, traffic management and patrol, police spec-ops and scouting, VIP transportation, cargo shipment, and peace regulation. The KAI will remodel whichever helicopter the police agency chooses to meet the Request of Operating Capability of the police force.
 

 Military equipment, such as the machinegun, armor assembly, and survival avionics will be stripped from the Surion, and a wireless photo transferring device, electron optical infrared camera, searchlight, and a loud speaker will be mounted instead. It is expected that the Public Procurement Service will sign a deal by the end of the year, allowing manufacturing and testing to take place in January 2012. If all goes well, the aircraft will be delivered in 2013.
 

 This is the first time a domestic model is introduced to the official use helicopter market, and other markets, such as the Korea Forest Service, National Maritime Police Agency, and Fire Department are yet to open up.
There are roughly 200 civilian helicopters in Korea, and about half of them are for official use. 80 more Surion class helicopters are expected to be in demand by 2030, making the helicopter market a $17billion opportunity. Also, the fact that the Surion competed with other top class helicopters – and won – suggests that it may have a competitive edge in the global market as well.
According to Eurocopter’s market forecast, nearly 1,000 Surion class helicopters are expected to be replaced with new models in 15 years, and the Surion will be able to take up 30% of the market share. With KAI winning over the contract, the future looks bright for the Surion.
 

 The Surion is in development at the KAI under the supervision of the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy, as well as the Defence Acquisition Program Administration, and will be the first helicopter to be produced domestically. The model was designed to serve as an utility helicopter for the Korean Army, and is equipped with a twin engine that provides a maximum takeoff weight of 8.7tons. The aircraft will be able to transport up to 9 fully geared up soldiers, and deploy for cargo transport, search and rescue, airborne strike, and medical transport. The model has been in development since June 2006, and in March 2010, its first test flight ended in success. The first mass production unit will be delivered to the army by September 2012.

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