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The Dauphin turned into a sophisticated attack helicopter capable of firing suicide drones

The South Korean Army Aviation’s Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) program’s state-of-the-art attack helicopter can shoot loose weapons that can be used to shoot down high-quality targets.

The South Korean Ministry of Defense launched a national helicopter development program implemented in the Surion helicopter and a light helicopter suitable for assault missions (the aforementioned LAH) and civil applications (light civil helicopter, or LCH). The LAH is set to replace the MD500 Defender and its development is expected to be completed in 2022.

Both the LAH and the LCH are in turn derived from the Airbus Helicopters H155, the most modern variant of the veteran Dauphin family (AS365), which has militarized or police applications such as Panther. This is based on the agreement reached in 2015 by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Airbus, which envisages the development of these helicopters in South Korea with the support of Airbus Helicopters and the technology transfer, as already happened with Surion.

The LAH is a twin-engine helicopter that is adapted to the light attack role of the 5-ton category and is equipped with a 20-mm multi-barrel cannon. on a front steerable tower, side wing half-wings for firing unguided rockets or rockets and a front electro-optical sensor for surveillance and target acquisition tasks.

Manned unmanned capability

Perhaps the most outstanding capacity of the LAH is to hang around unmanned aircraft with warheads or use looters to meet a South Korean Army requirement of the Manned-Unmanned Teaming, or MUM-T. Just recently, KAI announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for cooperation in this segment.

This will be reflected in the integration of IAI-loitering ammunition into the LAH helicopter, which will allow it to lock in and destroy targets at great distances, taking advantage of the ability of this type of device to go well beyond identification to fly the battlefield of the specific target. The helicopter pilot can deploy UAVs from a safe distance that fly across the battlefield in search of assigned targets and use the electro-optical sensors to correctly identify them from the helicopter.

Although the system to be integrated has not been specified, a KAI promotional video shows LAH appearing to operate IAI’s Green Dragon devices in a sequence showing the employability of MUM-T. In the video, the Green Dragons are launched from containers attached to the wing tips to scout the battlefield and shoot down anti-aircraft systems. (Jos M Navarro Garca)

Photo: LAH during the test (KAI)

The resemblance to the Dauphin family is evident (KAI)

A screenshot of the promotional video in which LAH starts the Green Dragon (KAI)

Promotional video of the helicopters LCH and LAH (KAI)

KAI promotional video illustrating the Manned-Unmanned Team (MUM-T) concept with Green Dragon guns hanging around from LAH (South Korea Military Channel)

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