Defence Helicopter

RAF Puma fleet hits 30,000 flying hours

29th January 2020 - 10:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Royal Air Force (RAF) Puma helicopter fleet has achieved 30,000 flying hours since the Puma 2 helicopter came into service in 2015.

Operated by the Puma Force at RAF Benson, the Puma HC Mk 2 has delivered a third of those hours in support of Operation TORAL in Afghanistan.

Shortly after reaching Full Operating Capability, the Puma force deployed to Kabul in Afghanistan to provide helicopter support to the ongoing NATO training mission in March 2015. Operating in all conditions, the Puma provides air transport to NATO personnel and visiting dignitaries in and around Kabul 24/7.

The aircraft also proved its ability to support humanitarian relief missions during Operation RUMAN in the Caribbean in September 2017.

Group Captain Adam Wardrope, the Station Commander of RAF Benson and the Puma Force Commander, said: ‘A third of all flying completed on operations is quite unprecedented.

‘With RAF Benson and the Puma Force working closely with colleagues in DE&S and industry, it has resulted in a remarkable number of hours and continued support to Operation TORAL for almost five years.’

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