In a strong signal of its capacity and capability to provide for South Korea’s defense needs, Eurocopter indicates its interest in participating in the two Request for Proposals (RFPs) likely to be issued in 2012, proposing the Panther platform for the Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) program and the Tiger for the Heavy Attack Helicopter (AH-X) program.
“These programs represent a key part of our long-term strategy in South Korea,” said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. “For the LAH program, we will once again support Korea Aerospace Industries in the competition, ensuring the continued development of the country’s aerospace industry and defense capability.
“As for the AH-X program, the Tiger’s modern state-of-the-art technology is undisputed, and it has certainly proven its operational capability and reliability in Afghanistan and Lybia, making it the best helicopter to meet the RoK’s requirements,” added Bertling.
Panther platform for Light Attack Helicopter program
In supporting KAI in the light attack helicopters (LAH) program, Eurocopter is proposing the Panther, the military variant of Eurocopter’s renowned Dauphin, as the ideal baseline platform for LAH development. The LAH program calls for a light aircraft in the 4.5 metric ton class with a seating capacity of 6-8.
With a background of over 1,000 Dauphin/Panther produced and the vast experience this type has of effective operations in the most demanding conditions, it offers a de-risked platform which, in its latest evolution, has the most modern avionics, engines and systems to give outstanding battle-winning performance. It is a high speed, maneuverable, discreet and powerful asset.
Developed to RoK military requirements by KAI, the Panther will give world-beating performance in a proven airframe with worldwide support.
Tiger for the AH-X
In the expected request for proposals (RFP) for 36 heavy attack helicopters (AH-X), Eurocopter is preparing to present its state-of-the-art support and attack helicopter – Tiger.
Tiger is the ideal aircraft for the RoK’s heavy attack helicopter requirement. It is a true multi-role combat helicopter and an essential asset in any operational theatre. With a record of outstanding operations in Close Combat Attack missions and as escort for Utility and Assault Helicopters, Tiger is a modern, combat proven system offering unmatched performance, effectiveness, availability and support. Tiger has now set the standards against which all other heavy attack helicopters are measured.
With a total of 75 helicopters delivered so far (as at 31 August 2011), the Tiger fleet has clocked around 30,000 flight hours.
Three Tigers have been continuously deployed by the French Army in Afghanistan since July 2009, and users’ feedback has been excellent, both regarding performance and maintainability. The Tiger showed a very high level of availability (more than 90%) and has logged approximately 2,100 flight hours, out of which 25% were performed at night.
EADS press release