The Korea Herald


Cracks found on Surion military helicopter's airframe: arms agency

By a2017001

Published : June 29, 2017 - 14:15

    • Link copied

South Korea's Army has resumed the operation of more than 60 Surion multiple-purpose choppers after grounding them for nearly three weeks for new cracks found on the airframe, a state arms procurement agency said Thursday.

The Army's central joint technology committee made the decision earlier this week to permit the continued service of the indigenous rotorcraft in accordance with its analysis of the cause and flight stability, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

A file photo of the South Korean Army`s Surion utility helicopters (Yonhap) A file photo of the South Korean Army`s Surion utility helicopters (Yonhap)

It belatedly revealed that cracks, 1.2-1.5 centimeters long, were discovered on the upper-left side of the fuselage of eight Surions on May 24. Two weeks later, the Army grounded all of its Surions.

As to the cause, the Army panel confirmed that the "fatigue cracks" are attributable to more weight from the spinning of rotor blades than expected in design, DAPA said.

The committee has called for corrective measures to be completed by October in addition to a regular non-destructive inspection.

The Surion, manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries, is a twin-engine, transport utility helicopter.

The Army has been using the model since late 2012. The finding of the cracks this time marks the fourth-known technological or crack problem.

It raises concern about a possible negative effect to South Korea's efforts to export the Surion. (Yonhap)