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Korea to join ranks of helicopter development nati

2013-04-01 Hits : 6415

 

Korea to join ranks of helicopter development nations, marking the 11th country


- Enacted standards for the KUH's national defense a.k.a, "Surion," the first Korean Utility Helicopter,        completed the development
- Expected to cause industrial ripple effects worthy of 12 tln. won, creating 50,000 jobs.

 

 

 

 

 KAI, or Korea Aerospace Industries, Inc., announced on the 29th that the company officially completed the development of the "Korean Utility Helicopter("KUH")," a.k.a., "Surion" and joined the ranks of the copter development nations for the 11th time in the world. On the previous day(28), The Defense Acquisition Program Administration("DAPI") had approved the completion of the development of the KUH by enacting the standards for the KUH's national defense.

 The KUH, which was developed to fit into the Korean topography is the advanced high-tech copter, boasting its mobility and hovering even around the height of the Baekdusan Mountain(approx.2,750 meters). The copter allows for stable tactical maneuvering even in the day and night bad weather and most strikingly stands out in the survivability of the pilot and the plane itself with all kinds of safety devices equipped, more than anything else.

 With the investment of the government including the DAPI and the Ministry of Knowledge Economy(currently Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy), KAI spent approximately 1.3 trillion won in developing the KUH. The development of the model was organized by the KAI as well as The Agency for Defense Development and Korea Aerospace Research Institute with 98 local vendors, 49 foreign partners and 28 college/research institutes in attendance, marking Korea's largest-scale national project.

 Setting out for developing the KUH in June 2006, KAI produced the first prototype in July 2009 and then succeeded in maiden flight in March 2010. Afterwards, the company used 4 prototypes and successively completed conducting flight tests amounting to roughly 2,700 hours.

 KAI made an assesment on total 275 items(about 7,600 test requirements)like basic performance, avionics/MEP, or mission equipment package, integrated operation capability and mission performance ability in the field training environment, etc and as a consequence, acquired the certificate of airworthiness and the judgment of eligibility suitable for combat, the first of its kind in the military helicopter category in June 2012.

In order to verify the operation ability of the KUH in the ambient environment below 32 degrees Celsius below zero from Dec. 24, 2012 to Feb. 7, 2013, KAI went to Alaska to conduct about 50 flight tests and successively finished conducting the low-temperature tests on total 121 items.

 "It is customary to usually take more than 10 years to develop a helicopter. However, we were able to succeed in developing the KUH in the shorter period by applying the design technology and the concurrent engineering design technology which had been applied to the T-50 helicopter, proceeding with the production and designing of the prototype in real time in accordance with the computer system," said KAI.

 With the successful development of the KUH, Korea secured even the capability of developing core parts of the helicopter, including the development and production ability accumulated through the development of the T-50 supersonic advanced trainer jet and the basic KT-1 trainer, equipped with technical prowess equivalent to the levels of advanced nations in the aviation industry.

 In addition, the development made it possible to drive the efficient and economic development of the subsequent and or derivative helicopters in years to come, based on the localization of up to 62.5% of the KUH project budget.

 Upon the replacement of the copters for local public organizations like the Korea Coast Guard, National Emergency Management Agency and Korea Forest Service with the KUH models, it is expected to avoid the outflow of our huge foreign currency. KAI had concluded the contract for supplying the KUH with The National Police Agency in 2011. The number of the copters for public use which the governmental institutions currently run in Korea reaches 100 or so and the size of demand for the Surion-grade copters is more than 2 trillion won in the upcoming 20 years.

Despite the world's sixth largest helicopter nation, Korea has not possessed the homegrown ones this far. The development of the KUH is predicted to cause the industrial ripple effects amounting to 12 trillion won and create more than 50, 000 jobs in the future.

 "Because KAI developed the KUH to meet the international certification standards with the aim of exporting it from the stage of development, the company sufficiently secured the export competitive power," KAI told.

KAI set up the KAI-EC, the joint venture with Eurocopter to make an effective overseas export marketing last year and has since been marketing those copters. The KAI-EC aims to export more than 300 KUHs over the 15 years to come.

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