Eurocopter wins Puma Mk2 support contract
Eurocopter UK has been awarded a three-year contract to support the fleet of 24 Royal Air Force Puma Mk2 helicopters it is currently upgrading for the MoD.
The contract, valued at approximately €60 Million, expands Eurocopter UK’s footprint as on-shore service provider to the UK armed forces. Eurocopter UK’s support activity for the Puma Mk2 will be coordinated through its headquarters at Oxford, England, which is close to the RAF’s Puma main operating base.
Markus Steinke, Managing Director of Eurocopter UK, said the company intends to ‘leverage support expertise’ from its civil helicopter base in Oxford, and introduce this into the Puma fleet.
The 24 Puma Mk2 rotorcraft covered by this support contract are being upgraded under the Puma Life Extension Programme contract awarded to Eurocopter UK in 2009 by the UK Ministry of Defence.
All 24 helicopters have been inducted into the programme, with the first aircraft deliveries from Eurocopter UK made in 2012. To date, eight have completed the process. The upgrades will significantly enhance the Puma’s operational capabilities for the Royal Air Force in combat, troop transport, load movement and humanitarian operations, and extend these helicopters’ operational lifetime to at least 2025.
Improvements for the Puma Mk2 include the use of new Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines that considerably increase performance; the integration of a full glass cockpit incorporating modern avionics and a flight management system; the implementation of a digital automatic flight control system; as well as the incorporation of a secure communications suite, defensive aids and ballistic protection for crew and passengers.
Additionally, greater onboard fuel capacity and lower fuel consumption improve the Puma Mk2’s operating range. These upgraded aircraft are able to carry twice the payload over three times the range compared to its predecessor in the most demanding operational and environmental conditions.
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