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​ADEX: Bell eyes Korean training, attack helo requirements

Bell Helicopter expects a decision to come soon in a South Korean competition for 41 training helicopters.

The US company has pitched its Bell 505 for the requirement, which is also being contested by Leonardo Helicopters' SW-4.

Patrick Moulay, executive vice president global sales & marketing at Bell, says the helicopter selected will be used for basic training for both the South Korean army and air force, and that a decision could come within a month or two.

He notes that the Bell 505 has sold well, and that the company expects to produce over 100 in 2018.

Bell also sees a potential requirement from the South Korean marines for an attack helicopter that can operate from amphibious assault ships.

Steve Mathias, vice president of global business development at Bell, says the AH-1Z attack helicopter is the only helicopter in the world designed entirely to operate in a maritime environment.

Another element that supports Seoul's possible adoption of the AH-1Z is the close relationship between the US Marine Corps, which also operates the AH-1Z, and the South Korean marines.

No formal requirement has been issued by South Korea for a shipborne attack helicopter, nor have specific numbers that might be obtained.

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