Surion helicopter

Elbit Systems has secured a contract for supply of advanced helmet mounted display (HMD) systems for installation on the Republic of Korea Army’s Surion light utility helicopter.

The unspecified award represents a follow-on deal to the contract awarded by Surion’s original manufacturer, Korea Aerospace Industries (Kai) in March 2009 for delivery of HMDs, along with vehicle information systems (VIS) and a data transfer system (DTS).

Awarded as part of the Korean helicopter programme (KHP), the contract covered production and demonstration of a successful integration of the HMD system on the Surion helicopter.

Elbit Systems Aerospace Division general manager, Yoram Shmuely, said the contract testifies the Korean army’s satisfaction with the systems’ performance.

”We consider the Republic of Korea a very important market, and we have recently established a local company, Sharp Elbit Systems Aerospace ("SESA"), a jointly-owned company with Sharp Aviation K, to focus on advanced military aircraft avionics,” Shmuely said.

"We consider the Republic of Korea a very important market."

‘We are considering involving SESA in the performance of this HMD project as well."

Designed and jointly developed by KAI, Agency For Defense Development (ADD), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (Kari) and Eurocopter, Surion is designed for a variety of applications, including troop assault, search and rescue, tactical lift, liaison and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions.

Capable of accommodating a pilot, co-pilot, two gunners and nine troops, the twin-engined helicopter is scheduled to replace the South Korean Army and Air Force’s ageing UH-1H attack helicopter and the 500MD light helicopter fleet.

The helicopter entered into service with the South Korean Army in 2012.

Deliveries under the contract are scheduled to take place over the next four years.

Image: the South Korean Army’s Surion utility helicopter during its flight. Photo: courtesy of KAI.

Defence Technology