Airbus Helicopters Strengthens Korea Ties

 - October 7, 2022, 9:41 AM

Airbus Helicopters announced developments in Korea this week including the delivery of the first Light Civil Helicopter (LCH), in partnership with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), and a signed memorandum of agreement with Korean Air Lines (KAL) to develop unmanned military reconnaissance helicopters.

The first LCH was delivered to a local operator, Gloria Aviation, following certification in September. Based on the AS365 Dauphin twin, the LCH completed prototype flights at the end of 2019. Other than its first application for emergency medical services, the helicopter will be deployed for helicopter air ambulance, search and rescue, utility, law enforcement, and firefighting missions. Gloria plans to place its helicopter in service in December in Jeju. 

Airbus and KAI began their industrial partnership in 2006 with the Korean Utility Helicopter, followed by the LCH and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) development programs in 2015. The LAH prototype made its first flight in July 2019. Qualification is expected in the coming weeks, followed by joint serial production by Airbus and KAI by the end of 2022 for the Republic of Korea Army.

The memorandum of agreement between Airbus and KAL—which has supplied aircraft parts to Airbus since 1987—will further the development of unmanned military reconnaissance helicopters such as the Airbus VSR700, which has autonomous takeoff and landing capabilities. The helicopter is based on the Guimbal Cabri G2 two-seat trainer.