The aviation giant Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI) has announced that the newest Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) successfully completed its first flight at the company’s Sacheon production plant.
The country’s sole aircraft manufacturer announced in a 4 July statement that two pilots conducted a 20-minute-long test flight with the prototype of new helicopter, which is being developed for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).
The LAH mated with a 1,032-horsepower engine is the second Korean-made helicopter after the Surion (KUH-1) transport utility helicopter and is smaller than the Surion in terms of size, it said.
KAI began to develop the LAH in June 2015 and unveiled its prototype in December last year. It had conducted ground tests to confirm the main systems and their stability since January, the company said in a statement.
“The company is targeting to finish the development process of the LAH by November 2022 before it is deployed to the Army,” a company spokesman said.
The LAH has been developed around the Airbus Helicopters H155 (formerly the EC155 B1) twin-engined platform.
Also, it was reported that the Korean Army intends to buy up to 214 LAH helicopters starting 2022 to replace the aging MD500 Defender.