South Korea on Monday approved a mass production plan for light armed helicopters (LAH) to replace decrepit choppers, the country’s arms procurement agency said.
The 5.75-trillion-won ($4.3 billion) plan was endorsed to produce the homegrown LAH from 2022 through 2031, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
The domestically-developed LAH will replace the military’s aging fleet of 500MD and AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters.
According to Yonhap news agency, the DAPA would sign a deal with Korea Aerospace Industries Co., South Korea’s sole aircraft manufacturer, later this year for the mass production that is likely to begin early next year.
The first batch of the LAH could be deployed in late 2024, Yonhap reported citing an unnamed DAPA official.
Plans were also approved to locally develop a 130 mm guided-rocket system from 2022 to 2033 and a 155 mm precision-guided artillery munition from 2024 to 2036.
A 3.3-trillion-won (2.5 billion dollars) plan was also endorsed to purchase heavy attack helicopters from abroad from 2023 to 2028.