The Republic of Korea Army has taken delivery of the first new medical evacuation helicopters, the country’s defense procurement agency DAPA announced on November 9.
The new helicopter is based on the Korea Aerospace Industries Surion twin-engine helicopter and features an external rescue hoist, a weather radar and traffic alert and collision avoidance system.
DAPA said the new helicopters would allow the army to improve the military’s capabilities to carry out evacuations of both troops and citizens. The new helicopters can transport a maximum of six patients, including two in critical condition.
The helicopters were developed between 2014 and January 2016, when the first flight took place. They were expected to be delivered in 2018 but the defense procurement agency did not elaborate on reasons for the delay.
It is also unclear how many of the MEDEVAC helicopters would be delivered to the army, but DAPA said they would be deployed to bases in Yongin, Pocheon and Yanggu.