the retirement of the last Wessex in 2003, the Puma is the oldest
helicopter in RAF service.
The 'package deal' between the UK and France on helicopter
collaboration dates back to February 1967.The programme covered the
development of three helicopter types - the Puma, Gazelle and Lynx.
Production of the aircraft was shared between the two countries, the
UK making about 20% by value of the airframe, slightly less for the
engine, as well as assembling the aircraft procured for the RAF. Deliveries
of the RAF Pumas started in 1971.
The Puma is powered by 2 x Turbomeca
Turmo 111-C4 engines mounted side by side above the main cabin. Capable
of many operational roles, Puma can carry 16 fully equipped troops,
or 20 at light scales.
the casualty evacuation role (CASEVAC), six stretchers and six sitting
cases can be carried. Underslung loads of up to 3,200 kg can be transported
over short distances and an infantry battalion can be moved using
34 Puma lifts.
The first of 24 upgraded
Puma Mk2 aircraft entered service in 2012 with the entire fleet upgraded
in early 2014. The entire upgrade package cost about £300 million
including one-off costs associated with developing modifications, trials
activity, provision of initial support and conversion training for
aircrew and maintainers. The actual cost of modifying each helicopter
was in the region of £10 million.
Pumas upgraded to HC2 standard should be able to remain in service until
PUMA HC2 HELICOPTER
||2 or 3
||Up to 20
troops or 7,055lb underslung
rotors turning 18.15m
Turbomeca Turmo 111C4 turbines
In service with:
12 x Puma HC2
12 x Puma HC2
All the above aircraft are under the control of the