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Eurocopter offers Panther, Tiger combat helicopters to S Korea

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The Tiger attack helicopter. A Eurocopter photo

MARIGNANE, FRANCE (BNS): Expressing interest in South Korea's plans to acquire light attack and heavy attack helicopters, Eurocopter has offered its Panther and Tiger platforms.

South Korea is likely to issue Request for Proposals (RFPs) in 2012 for its Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) programme and Heavy Attack Helicopter (AH-X) programme.

"These programmes represent a key part of our long-term strategy in South Korea," Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling said.

For the LAH programme, the European firm has offered to join hands with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in the competition which will "ensure continued development of the country's aerospace industry and defense capability," the official said.

The AS565 Panther is the military variant of the AS365 Dauphin utility helicopter.

The LAH programme calls for a light aircraft in the 4.5 metric ton class with a seating capacity of 6-8.

Developed to RoK military requirements by KAI, the Panther will give world-beating performance in a proven airframe with worldwide support, Eurocopter said.

In the expected RFP for 36 heavy attack helicopters (AH-X), Eurocopter is preparing to present its state-of-the-art support and attack helicopter - Tiger.

The multi-role combat helicopter "with a record of outstanding operations in close combat attack missions and as escort for utility and assault helicopters," would be the ideal aircraft for the RoK, the company said.

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