GKN Aerospace to upgrade RAF Puma fuel tanks
The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) Puma helicopter fleet will receive upgraded fuel tanks from GKN Aerospace under a new contract announced on 26 March. GKN Aerospace has been contracted by Eurocopter UK to develop the upgraded Puma fuel tanks as part of the RAF’s life extension programme (LEP) for the fleet.
GKN Aerospace said it supplied the first new self-sealing fuel tanks for integration and test purposes in February 2013. These fuel tanks are designed to enhance aircrew survivability against weapons such as heavy machine guns, vehicle and aircraft armaments.
GKN Aerospace’s rapid self-sealing response to ballistic damage with 7.62mm to 20mm round protection is available for all types of fuel containment systems. The company’s proven, ballistically tolerant technology can be supplied during the design stage, and can also be retro-fitted or externally fitted at a later stage when it becomes critical to ensure fuel supply is maintained during frontline operations.
GKN Aerospace currently supplies self-sealing fuel tanks for the UK’s fleet of AW101 and AW159 helicopters and supplies similar technology for a number of fighting vehicles including the Supacat Jackal II high mobility vehicle.
Richard Dove, general manager, GKN Aerospace - Portsmouth, said: ‘This contract with Eurocopter UK brings greater commonality to the UK military’s self-sealing fuel tank capability, effectively harmonising technology across platforms and ensuring efficient in-theatre logistic support. Over the long term, the focus for our market-leading self-sealing fuel systems team continues to be the provision of the best through life costs and in-service support to our customers.’
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