Airbus Helicopters will join with Korea Aerospace Industries in developing two 5-ton class rotorcraft that meet South Korea’s requirements for its next-generation Light Civil Helicopter (LCH) and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH). As the LCH and LAH competition winner, Airbus Helicopters will continue its highly successful relationship with Korea Aerospace Industries, including the joint program that developed Korea’s Surion twin-engine utility helicopter.
«We would like to express our deep gratitude to Korea Aerospace Industries and the South Korean government for entrusting us with this major helicopter program», said Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury. «We are committing our full support in ensuring the LCH and LAH projects will be completed on time, on cost and to specification».
Both the LCH and LAH aircrafts will be based on Airbus Helicopters’ H155 (formerly known as the EC155) – the latest evolution of its best-selling Dauphin family, which includes the Panther military and parapublic variants that have demonstrated their capabilities in operation around the world. As part of the new commitment, Airbus Helicopters will transfer the company’s technical know-how – as already demonstrated in the Surion program – to ensure Korea is able to develop its newest indigenous products, which will become leading next-generation light rotorcraft in the 5 metric ton weight category.
«The LCH and LAH programs will build on our collaboration with Korea Aerospace Industries on the Surion, which has become a reference in successful rotorcraft collaboration. By continuing our relationship, we will significantly reduce the risks of these two new development programs, while meeting all of the mission requirements», added Faury. The LCH version is expected to enter service in 2020 while the service introduction of the LAH is targeted for 2022.
Norbert Ducrot, Airbus Helicopters’ Head of North Asia, expressed confidence of the program’s success, which will see parallel development of both the civilian and military versions. «Not only do we have a strong partnership with Korea Aerospace Industries, we have also a proven track record of continued civil and military developments on which the two partners will capitalize for these two programs», he stated.
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 4,920 kg/10,846 lbs
Useful load: 2,301 kg/5,073 lbs
Capacity: 2 pilots + 13 passengers
Maximum cargo sling load: 1,600 kg/3,527 lbs
Engine: 2 Turbomeca Arriel 2C2, turboshaft engines, FADEC*
Maximum emergency power (OEI**) : 785 kW/1,053 shp
Fast cruise speed: 278 km/h/173 mph/150 knots
Range: 905 km/489 NM
Endurance: 4 h 42 min
* Full Authority Digital Electronic Control
** One Engine Inoperative