Eurocopter UK will support a fleet of 24 Royal Air Force Puma Mk2 helicopters under a three-year contract worth €60m awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence.
The helicopter manufacturer’s headquarters in Oxford, England, will coordinate the support activity of the Mk2 as it is located in proximity to the RAF’s Puma main operating base.
The Puma Mk2 helicopters form part of RAF’s medium-lift platform and are utilised for tactical troop and load movement by day and night as they can be rapidly deployed by C17 Globemaster.
Eurocopter UK is currently upgrading the Mk2 rotorcraft under a separate Puma Life Extension Programme contract awarded in 2009.
Under the 2009 contract, Eurocopter will enhance operational life of the entire fleet of 24 Puma Mk2 to 2025, and improve their mission capability and operational safety.
The company has, so far, upgraded eight helicopters, with the first delivered in 2012.
The upgrade will see the installation of new Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines, a full glass cockpit, digital automatic flight control system, a secure communications suite, defensive aids and ballistic protection for crew and passengers.
The cockpit will incorporate modern avionics and a flight management system.
In addition, the range of the helicopter will be improved with greater onboard fuel capacity and lower fuel consumption to enable it to carry twice the payload over three times the range.
Image: Puma Mk2 helicopters are utilised for tactical troop and load movement by day and night. Photo: © Eurocopter UK – Elaine Riding.