SACHEON, South Korea, July 25 (UPI) -- Light armed helicopters and light civil helicopters are to be developed for South Korea by Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd.
The government selection of KAI for the projects was announced by the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.
KAI will now establish an LCH/LAH development plan that will include the selection of overseas system developers and local and foreign vendors.
KAI said it is in negotiations with Agusta-Westland, Airbus Bell Helicopters and Sikorsky Aircraft for participation in the project, which will see the light civil helicopter developed by 2020.
The new aircraft will replace 500-MD military/civilian helicopters and AH-1S attack helicopters now in use by the country.
"The Korean military fixed a plan for deploying and operating the high-class attack helicopter and the low-class armed helicopter as its army aviation aircraft in order to reinforce Korea's aviation strength in 2009 and has since driven development of a Korean-made Light Armed Helicopter," the company said.