What is this? “Brought to You by Gangnam?” Perhaps, “We Hired Psy and His Girls, But All We Could Get Were the Prez and Her Boys!”. The only tackier image I’ve seen is this Okie state representative plugging his own office during a report on the recent tornado disaster in Moore, Oklahoma.
Fortunately, there’s this substantive GI Korea post on the Surion (KUH-1) Utility helicopter.
The Korean government launched a six-year, 1.3 trillion won ($1.17 billion) project in June 2006 to produce a twin-engine light utility helicopter to replace the aging fleet of U.S.-made UH-1Hs and 500MD light helicopters that have been in service for decades.
The first prototype of the Surion, which means “agile and flawless” in Korean, was delivered in August 2009 and successfully completed its maiden flight in March 2010 before entering full-scale production in 2012.
According to the Defense Acquisition and Procurement Agency (DAPA), the Surion underwent more than 2,000 test flights over 2,700 hours, without accident.
The aircraft also passed 50 cold-weather tests in Alaska between December and February to test its working in extreme conditions, such as being exposed to 40 degrees below zero Celsius over 12 hours.
The KUH-1, 15 meters long, 4.5 meters high and 2 meters wide, with a maximum takeoff weight of 8.7 tons, is able to carry two pilots, two crew members and nine armed troops or two pilots and some 2,300 kilograms of cargo.
The light utility helicopter has a top speed of 141 knots, or 261 kilometers per hour, and its twin engines enable the chopper to fly for over two hours and thirty minutes fully laden. Its range is some 440 kilometers.
It is also suitable for mountainous terrain, capable of vertical take-off at a speed of 150 meters per minute, hovering at the height of Baekdu Mountain at 2,744 meters.
Thanks to these features, the military expects the Surion to be used in a variety of roles including assault operations, search and rescue, cargo transportation and medical evacuation. It will be offered as a civilian version, as well.
Now, here’s indigenous production the United States should get behind.