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UK rules out FLRAA as Puma helicopter successor

21st January 2021 - 11:45 GMT | by Tim Martin in London

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Publication of the Integrated Review should provide a clear idea of how the UK will renew medium-lift rotary capabilities — but it has opted not to rely on US support.

A difference in timeline between the out of service date for RAF Puma HC2 helicopters and the introduction of the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) has led the UK to assessing alternative options to renew medium-lift rotary capabilities.

As plans stand, the Puma HC2 fleet will retire in 2025, five years before Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor or the SB>1 Defiant co-axial helicopter is fielded by the US Army.

A Puma extension programme has ‘been looked at’ by decision makers but is complicated by obsolescence issues, according to Col Paul Morris, Assistant Head of Plans for Capability Air …

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