South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said today it wants to develop an indigenous attack helicopter for Marine Corps operation.

The arms procurement agency has earmarked $1.6 trillion won ($1.44 billion) for the project. The defense project promotion committee, presided over by Defense Minister Suh Wook, approved the project, which is to begin in earnest next year and to be completed in around 2031, Yonhap News Agency reported today.

The new platform is likely to be based on a MUH-1 Marineon, the Marine variant of the country’s KUH-1 Surion helicopter, according to officials.

Seoul will build 3 Submarines under Changbogo III-class Batch-II submarine project by 2029

The government also approved the plan to build 3,600 ton-class advanced submarines with its own technology.

A total of three units will be built by 2029 under the project with a budget of $3.06 billion (3.4 trillion won), which is expected to enhance the country’s capabilities for monitoring and deterring potential threats, according to DAPA.

KUH-1 Surion Helicopter

The KUH-1 Surion was developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Eurocopter. They can be used in a variety of applications, including troop assault, search and rescue, tactical lift, liaison and medical evacuation. It can accommodate a pilot, co-pilot, two gunners and nine troops

The helicopter features an inertial navigation system, global positioning system, an automatic flight control system, forward-looking infrared radar and a digital MAP.

Surion is also equipped with a health and usage monitoring system, a modular weapon system, a counter measure dispensing system, infrared counter measures, electronic counter measures, a radar warning receiver, a hands-on collective and stick, and an on-board inert gas generating system.

The helicopter is fitted with six BGM-71 tube-launched optically tracked (TOW) air-to-air missiles or four rocket pods. The BGM-1 TOW is an anti-tank guided missile designed and developed by Hughes Aircraft. The maximum operational range of the missile is 3,750m. It weighs around 3.9kg to 5.9kg.