KAI and Safran Signed a Strategic Partnership

Defence Industry, Paris Air Show 2019

Le Bourget, Paris. Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Safran signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding today at Paris Airshow to expand collaboration between the two companies.

Under this MOU, KAI and Safran agree to explore potential collaborative opportunities across activities on the various areas in space, commercial and military activities, etc.

“This MOU will allow us to identify the possible opportunities for collaboration and strengthen the partnership between the companies.” KAI CEO, Jo Won KIM said.

Safran has collaborated with KAI for decades, providing critical equipment for KAI major’s programs (KUH Surion and its derivatives, LAH/LCH, etc.)

In 2016, KAI has selected Safran Helicopter Engines as engine supplier for its Light Civil Helicopter (LCH), with the Arriel 2C2 engine. Safran has also been selected to provide a new engine for KAI’s Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) in partnership with Hanwha Techwin (now Hanwha Aerospace), such new engine will be based on the new Safran Arriel 2L2 engine and will be assembled in Korea.


Today, 130 CFM56® engines, developed and produced by CFM International (the 50/50 joint company between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE), power jetliners for Korean Air (KAL), Asiana Airlines (AAR) and Jeju Airlines. Safran has also supplied nearly 30 nacelles and the fuselage wiring systems for the Airbus A380 super-jumbos operated by South Korean airlines, including Asiana Airlines, the country’s second leading carrier.

Safran also provides turbine engines for helicopters deployed in the country. Nearly 90 Safran engines are now in service on several different helicopter types, and Safran engines have been chosen to power the South Korean LCH and LAH helicopters, jointly developed by Airbus Helicopters and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI). Safran will provide the Arriel 2C2 for the civil version, LCH, and the Arriel 2L2 for the military version, LAH, to be built in partnership with Hanwha Techwin. Safran also provides the avionics suite on the KHP/SURION helicopter.


Safran contributes to several large-scale Korean military programs: KAI’s T50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer; the KHP/SURIONhelicopter, FFX frigates and KSS-III submarines, and major land vehicle programs.

South Korea operates the largest fleet of Safran land vehicle sights after France, with nearly 1,300 installed on K1 armored vehicles and BIHO air defense vehicles. It is also Safran’s second largest customer for naval inertial navigation systems: Safran’s SIGMA 40 systems are deployed by the Korean navy as original equipment or retrofits on surface ships (PKX patrol boats, FFX frigates) and submarines (U-209-KSS-1). Safran also supplies the periscope system for the KSS3 submarine and the Vampir MB infrared search & track (IRST) system for the LPX helicopter carrier.

Safran has formed several partnerships with local companies. For example, Safran teams up with S&T to make Dagaie decoy dispensers, deployed by the Republic of Korea Navy, and with Hyundai WIA for the licensed production of landing gear for KAI’s T50 and FA50 trainers.

In the space sector, Safran provides pyrotechnic components to Korean space agency KARI for its KSLV-1 launch vehicle.