Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has conducted the first flight of a KUH-1 Surion utility helicopter optimised for military medevac missions.
The first flight took place at KAI’s Sachon production facility and lasted for 20 minutes, says the company in a statement.
The 8.7t medevac Surion will first be delivered to the South Korean army in 2018. In 2014, state news agency Yonhap reported that the initial contract is for eight examples.
Korea Aerospace Industries
The aircraft has a hoist for lifting patients, a key consideration given the Korean peninsula’s rough terrain. It also has a detachable auxiliary fuel tank for long-rage missions.
The aircraft can carry six patients and will be equipped with medical equipment including patient monitors, a defibrillator, and a respirator. It will also have beefed up communications that will allow the crew to keep in touch with doctors on the ground.
KAI adds that six Surions that have been deployed with the army carry emergency medical services kits, which lay the foundation for the dedicated medevac version. The South Korean army operates over 40 Surions, and will eventually operate over 200 examples.