The KAI Surion, a twin-engined light utility helicopter, was designed and developed jointly by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Eurocopter to meet the requirements of the South Korean Army and Air Force. The helicopter will be used in a variety of applications, including troop assault, search and rescue, tactical lift, liaison and medical evacuation. It can accommodate a pilot, co-pilot, two gunners and nine troops.
The helicopter will replace the ageing UH-1H attack helicopter and the 500MD light helicopter fleet of South Korean Army and Air Force. KAI is also planning to build civilian variants of the helicopter in 2012. Eurocopter has joined hands with S&T Dynamics of Kyungnam, South Korea, to develop the drive system for the helicopter.
KAI Surion helicopter orders and deliveries
A total of 245 Surion helicopters were ordered by the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA). The deliveries began in 2012 and will last for eight to ten years.
S. Korea’s Marine Corps gets first multirole choppers: Here
Korean helicopter programme
The Request for Proposal for the development of KUH was released in April 2005. Various international companies, including AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter and Eurocopter, participated in the bidding process.
In December 2005, Eurocopter was selected as the co-partner to KAI in the development of the Surion helicopter. KAI holds a 70% stake in the research and development, while Eurocopter has 30%. In the ten-year production phase, KAI will have a 60% stake and Eurocopter will own 20% stake, while other companies will hold the remaining stake.
“A total of 245 KAI Surion helicopters were ordered by the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA).”
The Korean Helicopter Programme (KHP) was launched in June 2006. It is divided into six phases, namely project definition, programme development and production of four prototypes, prototype ground testing, prototype flight test, certification and military standardisation, initial production, and series production launch.
The preliminary design review (PDR) of the helicopter was completed in June 2007. The first prototype was rolled out in July 2009. Flight tests were conducted later on the initial prototype model.
Surion finally took its maiden flight in March 2010 and entered into service in 2012.
Government Scrutinizes Korea Aerospace Records, Tests: Here
Korea Aerospace Industries is facing intensified scrutiny as South Korea’s new president pursues a crackdown of military-industry corruption and the government watchdog questions the performance of its showcase Surion helicopter, according to news reports from the Asian nation.
President Moon Jae-in won the election in early May after his predecessor, Park Geun-hye, was impeached, removed from office and later arrested in March in the wake of a corruption scandal. Moon campaigned, among other things, on eradicating corruption in South Korea’s government.
“Defense industry corruption is more than just corruption,” Moon said at a July 17 meeting of top aides that was covered by TV crews. “I believe it’s an act that breaks down all security and benefits our enemies.”
KAI, Airbus to co-develop naval chopper
Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI), South Korea’s sole aircraft maker, and Europe’s Airbus Helicopter plan to jointly develop a naval chopper based on South Korea’s locally made Surion helicopter. This photo, provided by KAI, shows a computer generated picture of the proposed naval chopper. (Yonhap)
PARIS/SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) — Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI), South Korea’s sole aircraft maker, said Friday it will join forces with Europe’s Airbus Helicopters to develop its Surion chopper to carry out maritime operations.
A senior official at Airbus Helicopters told reporters in Paris that the two companies plan to co-develop a naval version of the Surion (KUH-1), saying there would be demand for about 250 such choppers over the next 10 years, according to pool reports.
KAI and Airbus are among an estimated 1,600 defense-related suppliers attending the biennial Eurosatory defense expo, which kicked off in Paris on Monday for a five-day run.
A naval helicopter, whose global market is estimated to reach some 70 trillion won (US$60 billion), is designed to detect and attack surface ships or submarines.
The Surion chopper was produced as part of a 1.3 trillion won military procurement project designed to create the country’s first locally built helicopter. Since its first flight test in 2010, the helicopter has been adapted for both military and non-military missions.
KAI and Airbus Helicopters (AH) have maintained a strategic partnership over the last 10 years as the European firm has joined KAI’s projects such as the development of light civil helicopters (LCHs). Source yonhapnews.co.kr
Military suspends flight of Surion choppers over defective gearbox: Here
Korea’s military has suspended the flight of locally-developed KUH-1 Surion helicopter after defects in the imported gearbox were reported following the deadly crash of a Norwegian chopper using the same European component, the defense procurement agency said Thursday.
The EC-225 Super Puma chopper of Norwegian oil company Statoil crashed off the Scandinavian country’s southwest coast on April 29, killing all 13 people aboard.
EC225 Main Rotor Head and Main Gear Box Design
EC225/H225 Main Rotor Head and Main Gear Box Design
Following the recent tragic accident at Turøy near Bergen, Norway involving EC225/H225 LN-OJF there is a lot of interest in the Main Rotor (MR) and Main Gear Box (MGB) design of the EC225. Here we provide some background information on the design and updates on the investigation and regulatory action.
The EC225/H225 MRH/MGB Design
EC225 MRH and MGB (c) Aerossurance
Unlike some other types, the 11t+ lift load from the Main Rotor is not imposed on the casing of the MGB, but is instead transferred via a Double Taper Bearing to the Lift Housing (see the diagram below). When static the Double Taper Bearing also transmits the weight of the MR assembly to the Lift Housing.
The Lift Housing is connected to the fuselage via three Suspension Bars (which connect to fittings secured to the fuselage by 4 bolts). The Lift Housing also takes the suspended weight of the MGB via the Flared Housing. The MGB is supported underneath by the flexible titanium Barbeque Plate which absorbs the MR torque, longitudinal and transverse loads and damps out vibrations.
EC225 MRH and MGB (Credit: Airbus Helicopters via Aerobuzz with Aerossurance Labelling)
The EC225 has a integral Main Rotor Head (MRH) and MR shaft, which mates with output of the MGB Epicyclic Module via a spline. The five Blade Sleeves (and their associated Blade Dampers) are attached to the MRH. The composite Main Rotor Blades (MRBs) are fitted to the Blade Sleeves.
As is conventional on a helicopter, the pitch of the MRBs is controlled by Pitch Change Rods connecting the Rotating Swashplate to the Blade Sleeves. The Rotating Swashplate follows the position of the Non-Rotating Swashplate, which is moved by three flying control Servo Units (not shown above), in responses to movement of the pilot’s Cyclic and Collective Controls. The Rotating Swashplate oscillates around a ball joint which can also slide up and down a Guide Tube that surrounds the MR Shaft. Each part of the Swashplate has a two part articulating Scissor. The one connected to the MRH drives the Rotating Swashplate, while the one connected to the Lift Housing prevents the Non-Rotating Swashplate from rotating.
The MGB is modular, with a main module which drives an epicyclic module and two accessory modules. Drive from the two 2101 shp Turbomeca Makila 2A engines enters the front of the MGB via two high speed (22962 rpm) shafts (known as Bendix shafts). The MGB Main Module and the 2 stage Epicyclic Module reduce the speed to the nominal Main Rotor speed of 265 rpm. The Main Module also drives various accessories and the Tail Rotor Drive Shaft (TRDS).
EC225/H225 MGB Schematic (Credit: Airbus Helicopters via Step Change in Safety)Close Up on EC225/H225 MGB Main Module and Epicyclic Module (Credit: Airbus Helicopters via AIBN)
The LN-OJF Investigation
The independent Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN – the Statens Havarikommisjon for Transport [SHT] in Norwegian) is leading the LN-OJF accident investigation in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13 on air accident investigation.
The AIBN have issued the following press releases:
Read entire article: Here
Surion helicopter cracks lead to an investigation
The South Korean procurement agency (DAPA) announced on Monday the opening of an investigation after cracks were found on the KAI Surion helicopters. Some of the locally developed platforms were found to have cracks on their windshields and other parts, according to the announcement.
More specifically, Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) said that four of the Surion helicopters had cracks in the vibration absorption devices at the left side of the airframe and some had cracks at the windshields.
Kim Si-chelo, DAPA’s spokesman, said that the agency is discussing the issue with Korea Aerospace Industries and other parts involved, in order to find an acceptable solution. Since the cracks do not pose until now any danger for the helicopters, the Armed Forces will continue to fly them.
South Korea has acquired close to 40 Surions. So far the helicopters are being used for mostly transportation by security and civil protection agencies, such as the police, the forest preservation authority and the national health system. The Korean military will receive its first batch of Surion in MEDEVAC configuration in 2018, as the version has carried out its first flight in 22 January 2016. Source airrecognition.com
A $1.3bn contract was awarded to Korean Aerospace Industries and EADS Eurocopter by the South Korean Army in June 2006 for the research and development of the Surion helicopter. It is one of the biggest contracts ever awarded to a non-US company.
The South Korean Defence Ministry will award another $4.4bn contract to KAI and Eurocopter in 2011 before the mass production begins. The project was initially named Korean Utility Helicopter until 2007. It was renamed to Surion after the roll out of the first prototype helicopter in July 2009.
Being the sub-contractor, Eurocopter provides main rotor components, a main gear box, boom and tail gearboxes, an automatic flight control system and a rotor mast for the Surion.
“Eurocopter was selected as the co-partner to KAI in the development of the Surion helicopter.”
Israel-based Elbit Systems was awarded a contract in March 2009 to render helmet-mounted displays (HMD), vehicle information systems (VIS) and a data transfer system (DTS). The company will also engineer and integrate the helicopter’s avionics systems.
In March 2007, Hanwha Corporation, a subcontractor in the KUH development, awarded a $3.5m contract to GKN Aerospace for supplying fuel bladders to the KHP. These fuel bladders are manufactured with a special material, which is more flexible than current materials available in the market.
KAI Surion helciopter features
The helicopter features an inertial navigation system, global positioning system, an automatic flight control system, forward-looking infrared radar and a digital MAP.
It is also equipped with a health and usage monitoring system, a modular weapon system, a counter measure dispensing system, infrared counter measures, electronic counter measures, a radar warning receiver, a hands-on collective and stick, and an on-board inert gas generating system.
Rockwell Collins delivers weather radar to KAI for Korean Utility Helicopter program
SINGAPORE (Feb. 15, 2016) – Rockwell Collins has delivered its first RTA-4100 MultiScanTM Weather Radar to KAI for the medevac variant of the Korean Utility Helicopter. This is the first selection of the new RTA-4100 Weather Radar with enhanced surface search modes in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Our RTA-4100 MultiScan Weather Radar will provide enhanced safety and mission capability during the highly adverse weather conditions in which the KUH helicopter will be required to operate while performing its critical emergency medical evacuation missions,” said Jim Walker, vice president and manager director, Asia Pacific, for Rockwell Collins.
The RTA-4100 MultiScan Weather Radar’s automatic tilt and gain management reduces crew workload over conventional weather radar systems by automatically reducing ground clutter ensuring comprehensive detection and display of weather related hazards.
In addition, the solid-state RTA-4100 offers the highest reliability of any weather radar in its class with substantially reduced size, weight and power. The RTA-4100 features advanced modes for maritime search operations. This combined with enhanced shoreline depictions ensures accurate and timely recovery/transport during critical medical emergencies. Source rockwellcollins.com
The helicopter is fitted with six BGM-71 tube-launched optically tracked (TOW) air-to-air missiles or four rocket pods. The BGM-1 TOW is an anti-tank guided missile designed and developed by Hughes Aircraft. The maximum operational range of the missile is 3,750m. It weighs around 3.9kg to 5.9kg.
The BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked and Wire-guided) missiles are designed to accurately destroy armored vehicles, fortifications and bunkers from safe ranges. Raytheon has produced more than 600,000 TOW missiles over the last 30 years for more than 40 international armed forces around the globe. The TOW missiles have been integrated in more than 15,000 ground vehicles and helicopters.
The BGM-71F TOW2B was delivered in 1992 featuring increased lethality against armored battle tanks. The TOW2B missile attacks tanks from the top where the tank’s armor is weak. TOW2B also features a dual mode sensor and is equipped with two new warheads. It flies over the top of the tank to destroy it from above. The two Explosively Formed Penetrator warheads explode downward reaching immediately the tank’s roof. Source deagel.com
Primary Function: Heavy anti-armor/assault missile
Prime Contractor: Raytheon Co.
Propulsion: Orbital ATK Launch Motor (Booster) + Flight motor
Length: 3.97 ft (1.21 m)
Diameter: 5.8 in (14.7 cm)
Wingspan: 18 in (46 cm)
Weight: 50.5 lbs (22.9 kg)
Speed: 440 mph (705 km/h)
Time of Flight: 23 seconds
Range: TOW 2B: 2.33 miles (3.75 km); TOW-2B Aero: 2.80 miles (4.5 km)
Guidance System: Optically-tracked, wire-guided
Warhead: Two Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) warheads – forward/aft
S&T Motive K12
S&T Motive K12
General-purpose machine gun designed K12 South Korean company S & T Motiv to replace obsolete 7.62mm general-purpose machine gun M60 American-made. K12 machine gun was first shown to the public in 2009 at the international exhibition of the Seoul ADEX defense and aerospace technologies.
| Caliber, mm
| Length mm
| Barrel length, mm
| Weight, kg
|| 200 tape cartridges
| Effective range, m
| Maximum range, m
| Rate of fire, rds. / min
S&T Motive K12
Surion self-protection systems
EADS Defence and Security installed a MILDS AN/AAR-60 self-protection system in the Surion helicopter. The self-protection systems are incorporated with a spectral of sensor suite.
MILDS AN/AAR-60 self-protection system
Armed forces around the world have recognized an increasing threat to tactical helicopters and widebody aircraft from surface-to-air infrared-guided missiles. In response, Airbus Group has developed the Airborne Missile Protection System (AMPS) – which significantly lessens risks to aircrews through advanced vulnerability reduction technologies.
Based on the AN/AAR-60 missile launch detection system (MILDS®), AMPS features an electronic warfare suite controller (MCDU), an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a fully integrated countermeasure dispensing system (CMDS) – making AMPS a completely independent stand-alone system.
During operation, the AMPS system’s MCDU receives indications from the missile launch detection system and activates the optimal countermeasure solution in accordance with its internal algorithms and logic – taking into account missile parameters, platform attitude and other data.
AMPS features a high-resolution VGA display and an audio alarm with recordable alarm messages, while its MCDU offers extensive interfaces for future expansion and integration requirements.
AMPS is a modular system that can be built with add-on components, including:
The MILDS missile warning system, on which AMPS is based, has been selected by a number of customers worldwide, including NATO. In total, more than 7,000 sensors have been sold for platforms such as the UH-60/SH-60, CH-47, CH-53, S-70, SH-3, Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-171, NH-90, Tiger, P-3C, C-130, CN-235, VIP/HoS A340 and many others.
The Surion protects itself from attack by detecting and tracking ultraviolet emissions radiated by approaching missiles. The ultraviolet rays are more effective at lower and slower targets. The UV rays are more vulnerable to atmospheric conditions.
“Surion is powered by two GE T-700 turboshaft engines.”
GE T-700 turboshaft engines
The Surion is powered by two GE T-700 turboshaft engines, each of which can produce 1,383kW of power and are manufactured by General Electric. The engines offer high reliability and maintainability compared with other engines in its series.
The length and diameter of each engine is 1.1m and 0.39m respectively. The dry weight of the engine is 206kg. Each engine can produce a maximum of 1,409kW of power at sea level.
Samsung Techwin T700-ST-701K turboshafts
KAI Surion performance
The Surion helicopter can climb at the rate of 2.53m/s and has a cruising speed of 269km/h. The range and service ceiling of the helicopter is 260km and 3,000m respectively. The maximum endurance of the helicopter is two hours. Surion weighs around 4,817kg and its maximum take-off weight is 8,709kg.
ADEX: KAI unveils medevac version of Surion
18 OCTOBER, 2017 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: GREG WALDRON SEOUL
The medical evacuation version of the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KUH-1 Surion helicopter made its public debut at this year’s Seoul ADEX show.
The medevac Surion is equipped with six stretchers, a main-cabin seat for a doctor, and a medical cabinet. It also has weather radar and a rescue hoist.
Apart from the medevac helicopter on display at the KAI stand, the type also participated in the flying display and appeared in the static park.
The Korean army has yet to order the medevac version of the aircraft, but KAI is confident of receiving an order as the fleet grows.
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that 72 Surion in service, of which 65 utility versions are with the South Korean Army. The national police operate three, and KAI has four. KAI has orders for 60 additional units, including 27 more to the army, and 30 to the nation’s marines. Source flightglobal.com
The following variants were planned by KAI aside from the manufacture of the Surion.
- The basic military utility helicopter used by the Republic of Korea Army.
- 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 25 January 2016 and will be delivered in 2018.
- A planned land and sea-based amphibious variant for the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, it will have a 96 percent part commonality with the Surion. Modifications will include an integrated flotation system, an auxiliary fuel tank, and specialised radio equipment. The Marine Surion first flew on 19 January 2015. It will have a folding main rotor to serve aboard Dokdo-class amphibious assault ships. In December 2016, KAI secured a contract to deliver 30 Surions to the Marine Corps, to be delivered from 2017 to 2023.
KUH-ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare)
- A naval variant equipped with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.
- 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).
Data from Militaryfactory.com
- Crew: two pilots + two gunners + nine troops , or two pilots + 16 troops
- Capacity: 18
- Length: 19.0 m (with main Rotor), 15.09 m (without Rotor) (62.3 ft, 49.5 ft)
- Rotor diameter: 15.8 m, tail 3.15 m (51.8 ft, 11.5 ft)
- Height: 4.5 m (14.8 ft)
- Empty weight: 4,973 kg (10,964 lb)
- Useful load: 3,753 kg (8,274 lb)
- Loaded weight: 7,348 kg (16,200 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 8,709 kg (19,200 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Hanwha Techwin T700-ST-701K (T700-GE-701C variant) turboshaft, 1,228 kw (1,647 shp) each
- Missiles: (planned in development) 6 x BGM-71 TOW, or up to 4 rocket pod
- GPS, INS, digital MAP, FLIR, HUMS, IRSS, MWS CMDS IRCM EWC RWR LWR, OBIGGS, tactical C4I, ECS, HOCAS, AFCS
Main material source army-technology.com
Revised Nov 17, 2017
Updated Jan 11, 2018