LONDON and WASHINGTON — The South Korean defense procurement agency will announce Jan. 12 that it plans to buy up to 36 AH-X attack helicopters, kicking off a major competition.
Bids are due May 10.
Likely entrants include theBlock III Apache, now preparing for initial operational test and evaluation in March for the U.S. Army. Bell also is planning to propose its “Zulu,” which is now on its first deployment for the U.S. . Also in the running are the and the A129, likely in the ATAK configuration in development for Turkey.
This competition will be the first international bid for Bell’s AH-1Z, and, thus, its first attempt to go head-to-head against its U.S.-made competitor, the Apache.
Also this year, India is expected to solidify its contract withfor 22 Apache Block IIIs to satisfy its attack helicopter requirement.