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Korea extends the flying careers of state Ka-32s
Ka-32 helicopters are used by South Korean state agencies for performing a range of tasks from firefighting to search and rescue and offshore patrolling. In use since the 1990s, they are being given a timely upgrade.
A large fleet of Ka-32s is in service in Korea for cargo, SAR and firefighting missions.

Russian Helicopters is to offer its partners from South Korea a modernisation programme for the Ka-32 multipurpose helicopter fleet. The programme for upgrading this type of helicopter will be presented at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2019 by Russian Helicopters' official dealer RH Focus Corp. It has been suggested that avionics, engines and a firefighting system should be upgraded in rotorcraft which have been used in South Korea since the 1990s.

The Ka-32 upgrade programme includes equipping the helicopter with a glass cockpit, more powerful VK-2500PS-02 engines and a new firefighting system. All these units will be presented at Seoul ADEX from October 15 until October 20. The modernised version of the helicopter has been indexed as Ka-32A11M.

“Our forests are lush green, made by the contribution of the Korea Forest Service and the Russian helicopters operated by them. Most of the Russian helicopters operating in South Korea, including those operated by KFS, are aged ones that have been in operation since the mid-1990s. The upgrade to apply the latest items and technologies that we will introduce at Seoul ADEX 2019 will further improve the performances of existing helicopters, which will maximise efficiency much more economically than new purchase,” says CEO of RH Focus Corp Soo Un Kim. “At ADEX 2019 I would like to let our customers know the excellence of the helicopter's performance when the state-of-the-art avionics equipment to be presented this time is combined with the coaxial rotor of the Ka-32.”

Director general of Russian Helicopters holding company Andrey Boginsky adds: “This exhibition is especially important for Rostec's aviation cluster, as we start cooperation in a new format: for the first time Russian Helicopters' designs are shown on the stand of our official dealer RH Focus Corp. We have cooperated with this company in the sphere of after-sales service, and both our firms have benefited from this.

“There is a good reason why the upgraded Ka-32 helicopter has been selected for our joint exposition: the fleet of these rotorcraft in Korea is fairly large, and they have proved their efficiency in terms of transporting cargo, search and rescue operations and firefighting.”

Ka-32 helicopters are used by South Korean state agencies for performing a wide range of tasks, from firefighting to search and rescue operations and offshore patrolling. They are also used by the country's commercial services as ‘flying cranes’ for construction and installation.

The technical solutions in the avionics of the Ka-32A11M helicopter have already been tested on the Ansat, Mi-38 and Ka-62 civil multipurpose helicopters. Compared to its western counterparts, the new SP-32 water tank made in Russia is said to have a more attractive price and can carry up to four tonnes of water. It also has digital control and upgraded water intake and discharge ergonomics. In addition, it can be operated at sub-zero temperatures.

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