Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has clinched a 438-billion-won ($308 million) deal to develop amphibious attack helicopters for the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, the company announced.

KAI will develop three prototypes in 46 months under the contract, signed with South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

The attack aircraft must be capable of providing cover for marine corps amphibious maneuver helicopters and air assault units, in addition to “air fire support for ground combat units during deep maneuver operations,” the Korean company said in a statement.

Homegrown Attack Platform

The marine corps was earlier reportedly looking to procure a foreign chopper such as the AH-64 Apache or the AH-1Z Viper.

However, authorities opted for a homegrown platform for greater interoperability with the Marine Corps MUH-1 Marineon amphibious utility helicopter, also developed by KAI.

KAI has proposed developing the new attack helicopter based on the MUH-1.

The aircraft is expected to be armed with “turret-type machine guns, guided and unguided rockets, and air-to-ground missiles,” Janes wrote, adding that it could also have an M197 electric cannon installed below its cockpit.