Surion helicopter

Raytheon has delivered the initial set of APX-119 identification friend-or-foe (IFF) transponders for installation onboard the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army’s Surion light utility helicopter.

The APX-119 is a combined Mk XII / Mode S / Mode 5 capability transponder, designed to provide military aircraft with a secure combat identification capability to help reduce fratricide and enhance battlespace awareness, while providing safe access to civilian airspace.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems business advanced communications and countermeasures director, Glen Bassett, said the IFF systems will enable South Korean Army to meet evolving military and civil requirements for air, land and sea applications.

"We have also delivered APX-114 interrogators for maritime applications and our reduced size and weight mini IFF transponder to Korean Air Lines’ unmanned aerial systems," Bassett said.

"The IFF systems will enable South Korean Army to meet evolving military and civil requirements for air, land and sea applications."

The military IFF transponders specifically enable friendly forces identification through a secure message transmitted by a ground or airborne interrogator that is designed to check range, heading and identification, according to the company.

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

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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.

Image: the first prototype Surion helicopter during its roll out ceremony in June 2009. Photo: courtesy of KAI.

Defence Technology