February 6, 2013: South Korea has ordered eight British made AW159 Wildcat helicopters for use on their new locally built FFX frigates. The Wildcat is based on the earlier Super Lynx and Lynx naval helicopters. The British Army and Royal Navy have also ordered AW159s. Similar in size and capability to the U.S. SH-60 Seahawk, these two helicopters often compete with each other for export sales. South Korea plans to build 15 or more FFXs and each will require two Wildcats (even though these frigates often go to sea with only one helicopter).
The six ton Wildcat has a normal endurance of 90 minutes (270 minutes carrying max fuel) and a top speed of 290 kilometers an hour. For naval service the Wildcat can carry dipping sonar and one or two anti-submarine torpedoes. In cargo mode it can carry seven passengers or half a ton of cargo.