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S. Korea to roll out light armed helicopter next year

All Headlines 14:54 December 05, 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI), the country's sole aircraft manufacturer, said Tuesday it will roll out a light armed helicopter (LAH) late next year, with the goal of conducting a test flight in 2019.

KAI plans to start the final stage of the LAH's assembly in May next year and roll out the first choppers in November. The first flight of the helicopter is scheduled for May 2019, the company said in a statement.

"We are determined to fully develop the LAH by November 2022 to enhance our own defense capabilities following the development of the Surion transport utility helicopter," an engineer at KAI's development team said in the statement.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the country's arms procurement agency, launched the project in June 2015 to replace the aging 500MD and AH-1S choppers in partnership with KAI.

This computer graphic image shows a light armed helicopter to be rolled out by Korea Aerospace Industries by November 2018. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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