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KAI resumes delivery of its KUH-1 Surion helicopters

Nov 25,2017
Korea Aerospace Industries resumed delivery of its KUH-1 Surion helicopters on Friday.

According to a reliable source from the defense industry, Korea’s largest defense contractor has delivered three Surion utility helicopters to the Korean military on Friday.

The delivery had been halted from June after the military spotted a small crack in the upper frame of the helicopter. Though the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, which manages procurement for the Korean military, later concluded the helicopters had no problem, the delivery was stuck again as the Board of Audit and Inspection pulled in and reported the model had defects, including ice forming inside the helicopter when the temperature drops to minus 30 degrees Celsius (negative 22 Fahrenheit) in July.

The Defense Project Promotion Committee under the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, however, decided on Nov. 17 it is necessary to alternate time-worn helicopters with Surion helicopters. While KAI was scheduled to deliver 90 Surion helicopters to the Korean military by the end of this year, only 67 have been delivered.

Starting with the three delivered Friday, the aircraft maker is planning to deliver 13 units by the end of this year and 20 more during the first quarter of next year.

The ice formation issue will be treated separately. A team from KAI arrived in Michigan, United States, for tests on Friday. Michigan offers low temperatures and high humidity in which to test helicopters that cannot be created in Korea, according to a KAI spokesperson.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]