ROK Inks Deal for the Second Batch of LAH Helicopters

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ROK Inks Deal for the Second Batch of LAH Helicopters
The Republic of Korea (ROK) has signed a $1.1 billion agreement with KAI for the second batch of LAH lightweight attack helicopters.

The helicopters are planned to be delivered between 2025 and 2028. KAI LAH is set to replace the ageing fleet of MD-500 and AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters. Another contract worth $236 million for 10 LAH helicopters was signed in 2022.

KAI LAH, which made its first flight in 2019, is a lightweight attack helicopter developed from the Eurocopter EC-155 utility helicopter by the Korean KAI (Korean Aerospace Industries). After the first flight, KAI also started working on a variant oriented for special forces operations dubbed LUH (Light Utility Helicopter) that is stripped of most of LAH’s weaponry.

The helicopter with an MTOW of 4.9 tons is powered by two HAS-Arriel 2L2 turboshaft engines, each providing 1023 shp power. 

While not as heavily armed as purpose-built attack helicopters, LAH can use most of the weapons used by said helicopters. 

LAH is armed with a 20 mm triple-barrelled Gatling gun with ammunition stored in the cabin. There are two external hardpoints for locally-made Chun-Gum anti-tank missiles and 70 mm rockets with a plan for loitering munitions. The loitering munitions are being co-developed by Israel and South Korea with a man-in-the-loop capability through an operator console inside the cabin.

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