IAR 330L Puma Helicopter, Romania
The IAR 330L Puma is a license-built variation of the SA 330 Puma helicopter. The helicopters are manufactured by Romania-based IAR Brasov. The Romanian Air Force operates the largest fleet of 104 IAR 330L helicopters.
Romania acquired the licence from Aérospatiale to produce the SA 330 Puma in July 1974. The first licence-built helicopter designated IAR 330H made its first flight in October 1975. The IAR 330H helicopter was subsequently modernised into the IAR 330L configuration. The IAR 330 helicopters were also exported to Pakistan, Sudan, Lebanon, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates.
Variations of the Romanian military helicopter
The IAR 330L Puma SOCAT is an upgraded variant, fitted with an avionics package and new weapons system. The Romanian Air Force initiated the upgrade programme of the IAR 330L helicopters in the 1990s. Elbit Systems was selected in 1994 to supply Antitank Optronic Search and Combat Systems (SOCAT) for 24 helicopters. The programme was a joint effort of the Romanian Ministry of Defence (MoD), IAR Brasov and Elbit Systems. The first IAR 330L SOCAT helicopter completed its first flight in May 1998.
The development of the naval variant of the IAR 330L commenced in 2005. The helicopter was unveiled in January 2007. The Romanian Navy received three helicopters by March 2009.
The IAR 330M Nato Puma is an upgraded transport variant intended for military transport, search and rescue and medical evacuation missions. The helicopters are equipped with SOCAT avionics and Nato compatible communication systems.
Other notable variations of the IAR 330 are IAR 330 SM and IAR 330 VIP. The VIP configuration features luxury seating, LED lighting and entertainment systems.
IAR 330L Puma design and avionics
The IAR 330L Puma incorporates an all-metal semi-monocoque fuselage. The fuselage is integrated with a cockpit and a 6.05m long cabin accommodating up to 16 troops. The power-plant is mounted on the top of the fuselage.
The helicopter has a length of 15m, height of 4.6m and a wing span of 3.38m. The diameter of the main rotor is 16.2m. The maximum take-off weight of the IAR 330L is 7,400kg.
The NVG compatible glass cockpit is equipped with an advanced avionics suite integrating a cockpit interface unit (CIU) for in-flight editing of navigation points, inertial navigation system / GPS (INS/GPS) with digital moving map and modular integrated display and sight helmet (MIDASH).
The electro-optical pod houses a CCD TV camera, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) system and a laser range-finder, integrated with a turret mounted gun and anti-tank missiles.
Weapon systems and countermeasures
The advanced weapon systems of the IAR 330L SOCAT include a 20mm turret mounted gun, two side 7.62mm calibre machine guns, two X-5 anti-tank missile launchers and four Nato standard 57/70mm unguided rocket launchers. The helicopter can be optionally armed with air-to-air missiles.
The IAR 330L Puma is equipped with advanced electronic warfare systems to counter enemy attacks. The countermeasures are provided by a radar warning receiver, laser warning system and a chaff and flare dispensing system.
Engines and landing gear
The IAR 330L Puma is powered by two Turboméca Turmo IV-CA turboshaft engines. Each engine develops a power output of 1,160kW. The two turboshaft engines drive the rotor via a main gearbox. The fuel is stored in four main tanks and an auxiliary tank beneath the cargo compartment.
The landing gear of the IAR 330L is a semi-retractable tricycle type incorporating twin wheels on each unit. The main units retract upward into fuselage fairings and the nose landing gear unit retracts backward. The braking system includes hydraulic differential disc brakes and lever-operated parking brake.
IAR 330L Puma performance
The certified service ceiling of the IAR 330L is 6,000m. The helicopter can climb at a rate of 11.2m/s. It has a maximum speed of 276km/h and a range of 592km. The IAR 330L can fly non-stop for 3.52 hours.
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