The military plans to change the defense minister's helicopter from the US-made UH-60 to the locally developed Surion, a military source said Sunday.
The American model has been used as "commander helicopters" for the defense minister as well as the chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. But calls have arisen to replace it with Surion amid criticism that it makes no sense for South Korea to try to export Surion while it uses UH-60 for top commanders.
"We're considering changing the defense minister's command helicopter from UH-60 to Surion," the source said. "Some modification of Surion is necessary to use it as a command helicopter, such as installing a command communications system and guest seats."
The source said that the military also plans to change the helicopters of other top commanders from the UH-60 to Surion.
Officials of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force held the first meeting on the issue last month and plan to have another later this month, the source said.(Yonhap)