KAI LAH: The First Step

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KAI Light Armed Helicopter



The Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) development project is a project to develop a high-tech armed helicopter suitable for modern battlefields for the purpose of replacing the old attack helicopters of the Republic of Korea Army.

As part of the integrated development project for a 10,000-pound civil military helicopter jointly promoted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, it is being carried out simultaneously with the LCH (Light Civil Helicopter).

The original name was KAH (Korean Attack Helicopter), but it was converted to an armed helicopter in consideration of conversion to civilian use, and the name was also converted to LAH (Light Armed Helicopter).

LAH is an armed helicopter optimized for integrated operations, equipped with the latest avionics and armed fire control equipment based on the H155B1 platform of Airbus Helicopters, whose stability has been verified, and enhanced maneuverability and survivability.



The KLH project, the beginning of LAH development, began in 1988 when production of the 500MD was discontinued. However, the KLH project was reduced to introducing 12 Bo105 CBS-5 units, and replacement demand for 500MD will be handled by KMH 95, but it will be canceled as Korea suffers from the IMF crisis. In 2001, Korea again proceeded with a helicopter development project called KMH 01, but the project was discontinued in 2004 due to technical/economic feasibility issues.

In 2005, KMH 01 is renamed KHP and business resumes. The problem of lack of economic feasibility was solved by raising the possibility of exporting 300 units, and the problem of technical feasibility was solved by developing the mobile helicopter KUH first, and proceeding with the KAH (Korean Attack Helicopter) depending on the success of the KUH.

In 2008, the development of the KUH-1 Surion was finally completed, and the development of the KUH-1 offensive type/KAH was discussed. On the grounds that there is no differentiation from the AH-X project, which was pushed back due to development, KAH changed its name to LAH and developed it in a lower weight class, and it was decided that AH-X would purchase AH-64 from the United States.

LAH began exploratory development at KAI under the auspices of ADD in 2011, and Airbus Helicopters was selected as a joint development company in 2015. Afterwards, in order to prevent internal competition between them, an agreement was signed to stop production of the Airbus H155.

In 2017, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced that it had begun assembling the prototype, and a release ceremony was held on December 18, 2018.

On July 4, 2019, a 20-minute initial flight was conducted, and in 2020, it was finally judged ‘suitable for provisional combat’.

Technical Data




Length: 14.3m

Width: 3.9m

Height: 4.3m

Main Rotor Diameter: 12.6m

Tail Rotor Diameter: 1.1m

Max. Take-Off Weight: 10,846

Engine: 2×HAS-Arriel 2L2 (1,024hp)

Max. Speed: 243km/h

Range: 905km


  • Hanhwa Systems TADS

  • Hanhwa Systems LWR

  • Hanhwa Systems RWR

  • BAe Systems AN/ALE-47 Chaff/Flare Dispenser

  • Machine Hensoldt AN/AAR-60 MILDS


  • S&T 3-Barrel 20mm Gatling Gun

  • 14×Hydra 70 (2×LAU-131/A)

  • 4×Chungum(TAipers) ATGM

About TAipers


TAipers is an anti-tank missile developed by ADD and scheduled to be mass-produced by Hanhwa. It is operated as a twin launcher and is the main armament of the LAH.


Caliber: 150mm

Length: 1.7m

Weight: 35kg

Guidance System: Wired, F&F

Penetration: ?,???mm (1,000mm or higher)


Warhead: Tandem



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