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​Safran to provide engines for new Korean helicopters

Safran Helicopter Engines has been selected to provide the engines for South Korea’s planned Light Civil Helicopter (LCH) and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH).

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), which will develop both helicopters, selected Safran’s Arriel 2C2 to power the LCH, says Safran in a statement.

As for the LAH, it will be powered with a new engine designated the Arriel 2L2. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration, KAI, and Hanhwa Techwin selected Safran to perform this work as well. This will be the most powerful variant in the Arriel family.

Both helicopters will be based on the Airbus Helicopters H155. Under the terms of a contract signed in June 2015, the European company will transfer the H155 assembly line to South Korea, where KAI will assume production of the type.

Safran and Hanhwa Techwin will jointly develop the new Arriel 2L2 in South Korea. Hanhwa Techwin will licence produce the engine, manufacture key parts, and perform final assembly at its Changwon factory. It will also provide MRO support for the engine.

Safran says the 2L2 will have “new and proven” technologies. Newly developed components will include the axial compressor, high pressure compressor diffuser, high-pressure turbine material, and dual-channel Fadec.

“This partnership is a new step in the Arriel program history,” says Maxime Faribult, Safran Helicopter Engines executive vice president of OEM Sales.

“We are proud in the confidence placed in us by Hanwha Techwin. Together, we are committed to offer a cutting-edge engine solution with world-class services to the Republic Of Korea Army”.

This the second major engine selection for an indigenous South Korean platform in recent weeks. On 26 May, General Electric announced that its F414 engine, which powers the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, will be the engine for the developmental KFX fighter.

The other engine considered for the KFX requirement was the Eurojet EJ2000, which powers the Eurofighter Typhoon.

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