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Two ready to tango in South Korean helicopter competition

20th October 2023 - 10:03 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Seoul


South Korea’s military has been seeking new helicopters for its special forces. Pictured above is an older CH-47D Chinook already in service. (Photo: Gordon Arthur)

Two US-based OEMs will be vying for supremacy in a forthcoming competition for special forces heavy helicopters for the South Korean military.

Two contenders have been eagerly awaiting South Korea’s release of an RfP for a predicted quantity of 18 helicopters for the country’s special forces.

The two contenders for the Special Operations Heavy Helicopter programme are Boeing with its CH-47F Chinook and Sikorsky with the CH-53K King Stallion. Both were promoting their respective offerings at Seoul ADEX 2023.

South Korea completed a feasibility study phase last year. In April, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) approved the helicopter programme with a budget of KRW3.7 trillion (US$2.7 billion) from 2024–31.

John Kim, international business development for defense, space and security at Boeing Korea, said

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Gordon Arthur


Gordon Arthur

Gordon Arthur was the Asia Pacific editor for Shephard Media. Born in Scotland and educated …

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