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Swiss Air Force receives final Cougar helicopter

12th May 2022 - 12:25 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The transfer of the final modernised Cougar helicopter was celebrated with a ceremonial handover. (Photo: RUAG)

RUAG has announced the completion of the Swiss Cougar modernisation programme, which lasted around three years.

RUAG has transferred the last of nine Cougars to the Swiss Air Force’s helicopter fleet as part of the Cougar modernisation programme.

After a successful decision to undergo a value retention programme to modernise the TH89 Super Puma to become the TH06, the TH98 Cougar was selected to be upgraded to the TH18 model.

The modernisation programme received approval from the Federal Council in 2018 and started in early 2019 with the conversion of the first Cougar.

There were two goals of the modernisation programme, first to extend the useful life of the 20-year old helicopter and second to harmonise the Super Puma and Cougar transport helicopters to allow more uniform and simplified operations and training.

The AS532 Cougar is a development of the SA 330 Puma, first introduced in 1977. According to Shephard Defence Insight, the platform has at least 26 confirmed international customers.

This news follows RUAG’s announcement to divest many of its defence subsidiaries. Since just last month, RUAG has announced the planned sale of RUAG Australia to ASDAM and the completed sale of RUAG Simulation & Training to Thales.

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