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​KAI says most Surions operating in South Korea

Updated to reflect number of aircraft actually flying.

Korea Aerospace Industries says "over 50" KUH-1 Surion helicopters used by the South Korean army are flying, as well as three police helicopters, although some remain grounded because they were fitted with the same gearbox as the beleaguered Airbus Helicopters H225.

“Korea's military suspended flights of Surion to prevent potential accidents, after defects in the imported gearbox were reported following the crash of a Norwegian [H225] using the same European component,” says KAI. “The problematic parts are being replaced. Some of the Surions are equipped with the same parts, some are not.”

Flight Fleets Analyzer show that there are 69 Surions in service. Of these, 62 are with the South Korean Army, three with the Korean National Police Agency, and four with Korea Aerospace Industries.

Deliveries of the Surion to the South Korean army remain on hold, however, owing to an icing issue with the type that came to light in September; the company says it is still working to resolve this problem.

In September, KAI said it will need to redesign engine parts that ice up in certain conditions. The problem emerged during winter testing in the US state of Wisconsin between October and March.

Despite the ongoing problems, KAI continues its business development efforts for Surion.

It recently recorded its fifth order from the Korean police. This example will be delivered in late 2018, following the delivery of its fourth Surion in late 2017.

In addition, KAI has entered a deal with Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) for the latter to jointly market the Surion in Southeast Asia. KAI also hopes to sell Surion to Indonesia’s police, a transaction that could run from two to six examples.

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