South Korea's KAI Completes the Development of Amphibious Variant of Surion Helicopter

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Defense Industry News - South Korea
 
 
 
South Korea's KAI Completes the Development of Amphibious Variant of Surion Helicopter
 
KAI, or Korea Aerospace Industries, Inc. announced today it has completed the development of the amphibious variant of its Surion transport helicopter, which will help enhance the range of operation and mobility for the ROK Marine Corps, specifically from ROK Navy Dokdo class LPH.
     
KAI, or Korea Aerospace Industries, Inc. announced today it has completed the development of the amphibious variant of its Surion transport helicopter, which will help enhance the range of operation and mobility for the ROK Marine Corps, specifically from ROK Navy Dokdo class LPH.
KAI Surion-amphibious task helicopter was designed to be based onboard Dokdo class LPH
Picture: KAI

     
KAI started the navalization project in 2013 to produce a sea-based version of the twin-engine transport utility helicopter for the Marines, which will carry out transport missions from or to vessels at sea. Since its maiden flight in January last year, KAI conducted eight months of test flights and achieved qualification on the new helicopter's capability to operate in the marine environment, the company said in a statement.
     
KAI, or Korea Aerospace Industries, Inc. announced today it has completed the development of the amphibious variant of its Surion transport helicopter, which will help enhance the range of operation and mobility for the ROK Marine Corps, specifically from ROK Navy Dokdo class LPH.
KAI Surion-amphibious task helicopter was designed to be based onboard Dokdo class LPH
Picture: KAI

     
Serial production is expected to start in the first half of 2016 and delivery to the military will be wrapped up by 2019.

"The latest success in the development is expected to help double our military's ability to conduct multidimensional high-speed amphibious operations," a KAI representative said. "It will also help expand the radius of operations of the Marine Corps and improve their mobility."

The marine version comes with additional functions and high-tech equipment to be used for the Marine Corps' various amphibious missions.

Two auxiliary fuel tanks were added to the marine chopper in addition to the four original tanks, which empowers the upgraded model to fly 524 kilometers for three hours without stopping. The extended range was verified in a flight test conducted in September, according to KAI.

The helicopter is also fitted with folding rotor blades to be reduce their footprint on surface vessels.
     
Video showing the Surion in Amphibious variant during qualifications. Video: KAI
 

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