KAI Inks MOU with Airbus Helicopters to Export Locally Built Choppers | Be Korea-savvy

KAI Inks MOU with Airbus Helicopters to Export Locally Built Choppers

Manufacturing line of KAI. (Image : Yonhap)

Manufacturing line of KAI. (Image : Yonhap)

SEJONG, Nov. 4 (Korea Bizwire)South Korea’s largest aerospace company Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) said Wednesday that it inked a deal with Airbus Helicopters to sell locally made choppers abroad.

The strategic partnership memorandum of understanding (MOU) reached in Seoul comes as the two companies concurred on the need to expand cooperation in the rotary aircraft sector.

The agreement outlines cooperative efforts to export the Surion medium utility chopper, as well as the light civil helicopter (LCH) and light armed helicopter (LAH) being developed at present. It also calls for the two sides to work together in helicopter parts, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services and development of new business areas.

KAI said the latest deal will, moreover, help it to acquire key technologies related to the main gearbox and rotor blades used in choppers.

South Korea’s sole aircraft manufacturer and total system integrator then said that many countries that are operating its T-50 advanced jet trainers and KT-1 turbo-prop basic trainer have expressed interest in its helicopters like the Surion.

It said the latest MOU will help South Korea make the next leap forward in the aerospace field.

KAI CEO Ha Sung-yong said that with the successful completion of the LAH and LCH projects, which are supported by Airbus Helicopters, the company aims to sell some 1,000 choppers at home and abroad. This it said can create jobs and build up a base for the high-tech industry.

Airbus president Fabrice Bregier, who is in the country, said South Korea is an important market for Airbus’s chopper division and the MOU will help the multinational company expand its presence.

The two companies, meanwhile, said they will set up a steering committee and come up with specific cooperative models in the first half of 2016.


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