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Seoul yet to decide on Light Attack Helicopter plans

South Korea has yet to decide on the configuration of its planned indigenous Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) but says it remains fully behind the plan despite the potential to purchase off-the-shelf alternatives.

Industry sources at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition say that the nation remains committed to development of the type, which will complement the 36 Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters it will begin receiving in 2015.

Boeing hopes to pitch its AH-6I for the requirement, noting the high degree of cockpit commonality between the AH-64E and the AH-6I. But the US airframer says it is awaiting direction from Seoul in regard to the programme’s future.

Seoul, however, appears interested in developing a new helicopter domestically following its success with the Korea Aerospace Industries Surion utility helicopter programme. The new light attack type would be aimed at replacing the army’s MD Helicopters MD-500s.

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