S. Korea to Develop Indigenous Marine Corps Chopper by 2031

South Korea decided Monday to develop an indigenous attack helicopter for Marine Corps operations, the arms procurement agency said.

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 with a budget of 1.6 trillion won (US$1.44 billion), according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).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.

"We've taken into consideration diverse factors such as the interoperability with the Marineon and the operations and management efficiency," DAPA said in a statement. "The project is expected to enhance our troops' capabilities, particularly in northwestern islands (near the inter-Korean border)."

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