Also known as MAH for Marine Attack Helicopter, this is the armed variant of the Marineon helicopter, itself the amphibious variant of the KUH-1 Surion helicopter. The MAH was selected as the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (ROKMC)’s future attack helicopter in April this year.
Talking to Naval News at ADEX 2021, a KAI spokesperson said:
“The aircraft on display is the level-2 armed Marineon. The level-1 armed Marineon will be equipped with air to ground missiles, as well as air-to-air missiles. The level-2 version will also have canisters that can deploy the MUM-T to support the pilot.”
The MUM-T, short for manned unmanned teaming, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was also unveiled for the first time by KAI at the air show. It is expected to give the pilot of the Marineon more operational freedom. “The MUM-T will be available in four different modules, each designed for one of the following four roles: reconnaissance, electronic warfare, deception, and suicide missions,” the spokesperson said.
As we reported previously, the MAH has been the subject of great controversy domestically in recent months, with some critics lambasting the government decision to select the Marineon as the Republic of Korea Marine Corps future attack helicopter. This has not stopped KAI from working on the aircraft. The armed Marineon will use target acquisition and designation sights (TADS) and helmet-mounted displays (HMD). It is hoped the addition of the TADS and HMD will make the aircraft more suitable for attack operations.
KAI is hoping to design variants of the Surion / Marineon that are specialized for different operations, including mine-countermeasure operations and anti-submarine warfare.