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KAI KUH-1 Surion

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The KAI KUH-1 Surion is a twin-engine, transport utility helicopter developed primarily by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) jointly with Eurocopter. In 2006, the research and development phase of the Korea Helicopter Project - Korea Utility Helicopter (KHP-KUH), costing around 1.3 trillion won ($1.2 billion), was launched by the Agency for Defense Development. In 2012, full-scale production of the Surion commenced; KAI has been designated as the principal manufacturer of the type.

An initial force of around 245 Surions have been ordered by the Republic of Korea Army to replace their aging fleets of UH-1H utility helicopters and 500MD light utility helicopters, which have been in service for decades. KAI shall also construct civilian and law enforcement variants of the helicopter.


  • KUH-1 Surion: The basic military utility helicopter used by the Republic of Korea Army.
  • KUH-Medevac: A medical evacuation variant. It is equipped with a hoist for lifting patients, a weather radar, a detachable auxiliary fuel tank, a traffic collision avoidance system, medical equipment to treat six patients, and additional communications. First flight occurred on January 25th, 2016 and will be delivered in 2018.
  • MUH-1 Marineon: A land- and sea-based amphibious variant for the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, it has a 96 percent part commonality with the Surion. Modifications include an integrated flotation system, auxiliary fuel tank, and specialized radio equipment. The Marine Surion first flew on January 19th, 2015; It also has a folding main rotor to serve aboard Dokdo-class amphibious assault ships. In December 2016, KAI secured a contract to deliver thirty Surions to the Marine Corps, with the first two delivered in January 2018.
  • KUH-ASW: A naval variant equipped with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.
  • KUH-1P Chamsuri: Korean Police version (KUH-1P/ Chamsuri) - Surion utility helicopter chosen by the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) for its Police Helicopter Project. Equipped with a weather radar, traffic collision avoidance system, inertial navigation system, and an external hoist and cameras for rescue duties (extra electronics are needed compared to ordinary police helicopters for operations near North Korea, which frequently conducts jamming operations).


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