August 2, 2009:
South Korea recently introduced its first domestically designed and manufactured helicopter. The KUH (Korean Utility Helicopter), nicknamed Surion," carries two pilots and 11 passengers. It can be armed with 7.62mm machine-guns. Some 60 percent of the components are made in South Korea. The 8.7 ton KUH can hover at up to 3,000 meters and has a top speed of 240 kilometers an hour.
South Korea spent a billion dollars developing the KUH, and it was designed for civilian and military use. Thus South Korea becomes only one of 11 countries that produces helicopters. Full scale production begins in three years. The South Korean military is buying KUHs to replace its UH-1s and 500MDs. South Korea plans to energetically market the KUH overseas.