SEOUL, Nov. 25 (Yonhap)-- Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), a South Korean defense firm, plans to roll out the prototype of a light armed helicopter (LAH) for the country's Army in December, its officials said Sunday.
The LAH is to replace an aging fleet of the Army's attack choppers, including MD500s and 70 AH-1S Cobras.
"Following the rollout of the LAH's prototype next month, an engine test is scheduled in March next year and a maiden flight in May," a KAI official said.
Based on the Eurocopter EC 155 helicopter, the LAH is designed to fly at a speed of upward of 324 kilometers per hour and have a range of some 905 km. Its maximum take-off load is 4.9 tons with the chopper to be equipped with a 20-mm gun and anti-armor guided missiles made locally.
The first operational LAH is set to be delivered to units toward the end of 2022.
(News Focus) Termination of military pact with Japan raises concerns over S. Korea-U.S. alliance
Another new missile highlights N.K.'s focus on conventional weapons amid nuclear talks
Trump's pressure on S. Korea raises concern about U.S. interests, alliance
Latest test indicates N. Korea's successful development of new ballistic missile: experts
Seoul-Tokyo ties tipped for deeper rift after Japan's expanded export control: experts