Puma HC1 helicopter

Frazer-Nash has received a contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to continue providing support services for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Puma HC Mk2 helicopter’s life extension programme (LEP).

Frazer-Nash, along with the MoD and prime contractor, Eurocopter, will produce a hazard log, loss model and safety case for the helicopter.

Frazer-Nash business manager, Martin Soltau, said the LEP provides RAF with a significant contribution to support its Puma helicopter capability.

"We will be drawing upon our vast experience and expertise in the development of aircraft safety cases to continue our central role in the HC Mk2 programme," said Soltau.

Under the contract, Frazer will analyse the series of events occurring during technical failures.

The MoD’s project team, comprising of Eurocopter, the Independent Technical Evaluator (ITE), the Independent Safety Auditor (ISA) and the in-service authority, will provide the company with useful operator inputs during the assessment and review process.

As part of the programme, Frazer-Nash will also install civilian certified equipment within a military operational environment, simultaneously ensuring the safety of aircraft.

The MoD’s multi-million pound LEP aims at extending the service life of the RAF’s Puma Mk1 helicopters fleet from 2012 until 2025 to offer significantly enhanced performance and operational capabilities.

The upgraded aircraft, to be re-designated Puma HC Mk2, will be equipped with twin Turbomeca Makila engines, new gearboxes and tail rotors, new engine controls, digital autopilot and an improved defensive aids suite of self-protection equipment.

The MoD Defence, Equipment and Support organisation’s (DE&S) Puma 2 Gazelle project team is handling the LEP project.

Image: RAF’s Puma HC1 helicopter during the 2009 Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire, England. Photo: courtesy of Apringstone.