Weight & dimensions
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The KAI KUH-1 Surion is a twin-engine, transport utility helicopter developed primarily by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) jointly with Eurocopter. In 2006, the research and development phase of the Korea Helicopter Project – Korea Utility Helicopter (KHP-KUH), costing around ₩1.3 trillion (equivalent to ₩1.67 trillion or US$1.48 billion in 2017), was launched by the Agency for Defense Development in 2006. In 2012, full-scale production of the Surion commenced; KAI has been designated as the principal manufacturer of the type.
An initial force of around 245 Surions have been ordered by the Republic of Korea Army to replace their aging fleets of UH-1H utility helicopters and 500MD light utility helicopters, which have been in service for decades. KAI shall also construct civilian and law enforcement variants of the helicopter.
In 2017, the Surion was the centerpiece of an embezzlement scandal involving parent company KAI, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense and its Defense Acquisition Program Administration.