S. Korea Shortlists 3 Helicopters for Attack Helo Contest
An A129 Mangusta on display at the T-129 exhibit at IDEF 07. South Korea has narrowed the field of contenders for its multibillion-...
|An A129 Mangusta on display at the T-129 exhibit at IDEF 07.|
South Korea has narrowed the field of contenders for its multibillion-dollar attack helicopter contest to 3, a South Korean government official said May 29 during a visit here — Boeing, Bell Helicopter Textron and an AgustaWestland-Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) team.
Chicago-based Boeing builds the U.S. Army’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopter; Bell Helicopter Textron, Fort Worth, Texas, makes the U.S. Marine Corps’ Cobra family; and AgustaWestland and TAI are teaming on the T-129, a Turkish version of the Italian company’s A-129 Mangusta International, the South Korean official said.
Boeing and Bell have sold gunships to scores of countries, while AgustaWestland and TAI will deliver nine of 59 T-129s to Turkey this year.
A Turkish procurement official confirmed that a South Korean team will attend performance tests in July for the T-129.
Seoul is expected to select a winner to build its 50 helicopters in October. The exact cost of the South Korean program will depend on the helicopter chosen, the configuration and the number bought.
South Korea is expected to use the attack helicopters mainly against fast gunboats deployed by North Korea in the Yellow Sea, west of the 2 countries.