Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has started manufacturing components to produce the trial model of a light armed helicopter (LAH).
KAI announced on November 29 that it held a ceremony to begin the production of LAH systems at the KAI headquarters in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, and entered the production stage of LAH development in earnest.
After starting the development in June last year, KAI completed the preliminary design review in August this year and it is now working on the detailed design. Last month, the company created the drawings and began the component production for the first trial LAH.
KAI plans to starts assembling in June 2017, release the first model in September 2018 and have the first flight in April 2019. The company is also developing a light civil helicopter (LCH) at the same time. It started the production of the first project model in October and the second project model in February next year.
The LCH/LAH system development project is a private and military helicopter connect and development project jointly promoted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. KAI is in charge of system development and it aims to complete the system development of LCH in 2021 and LAH in 2022.
With the development of small-sized LAH and LCH after the mid-sized Surion helicopter, KAI will establish the line-up based on various platforms and expand the armed and civil helicopter market at home and abroad.