SA330 Puma 55 years ago on this day

JAD

LE
Yes - Joint Force Harrier GR7s and GR9s; Chinooks have been deployed aboard, and I seem to recall 28 Squadron took its Merlins (pre-handover to FAA for the jungly force) aboard for an exercise.

F-35s are a properly joint asset - hence OC 617 being a WAFU at the moment - but the aircraft are recorded as being part of the RAF fleet in all official documentation, so they've been aboard as well.
Don't suppose you're ex Laarbuuch by chance?
 

Yokel

LE
My questions/comments were:

1. How come the Puma ended up being repaired in the UK, and then acquired by a civvy operator for a DOD contract? Having the expertise here is obviously a good thing.

2. Historically we have tried to use RFAs as platforms for additional helicopters for a task group. I assume the US would do the same. BTW you forgot about ASW for the MH-60R.

3. There was controversy over the RAF Pumas having an upgrade in Romania.

4. Pumas and deck landing - perhaps no need most of the time, but the USAF thought that about the special operations helicopters before Eagle Claw. Additionally the RAF SAR Sea Kings sometimes landed on HM Ships or RFAs to refuel to extend their range.
 
My questions/comments were:

1. How come the Puma ended up being repaired in the UK, and then acquired by a civvy operator for a DOD contract? Having the expertise here is obviously a good thing.

2. Historically we have tried to use RFAs as platforms for additional helicopters for a task group. I assume the US would do the same. BTW you forgot about ASW for the MH-60R.

3. There was controversy over the RAF Pumas having an upgrade in Romania.

4. Pumas and deck landing - perhaps no need most of the time, but the USAF thought that about the special operations helicopters before Eagle Claw. Additionally the RAF SAR Sea Kings sometimes landed on HM Ships or RFAs to refuel to extend their range.
Jesus Christ fyi I was involved in the Puma project so I was there when negotiations took place, work some, and of course the a/c delivered in summer 2003.

I explained the Puma was owned by Roberts Aircraft leased out to BraZillan Operator , got damaged in jungle. Company I worked for was a Part 145 helicopter maintenance Company. They looked Around the world for work came across this Puma and offered to to work on it seeming as Roberts Was going to get into the European firefighting season.

But also Robert saw another opportunity to put the Puma into Vertrep for the sixth fleet replacing the lost Puma.


Also at the time Roberts Aircraft had pretty Much all the legacy Aerospatiale / Eurocopter Aircraft in the USA on their Books and approvals. They leased out these helicopters like Alouette III, Lama, etc. worldwide.

no offense but the Mh-60R is irrelevant in this discussion when we talking about Vertrep not ASW/ASUW.

I know Full well over the Puma upgrade contract but then Eurocopter would be The only ones capable of carrying out the work as they are the manufacturer.

I hope LOL you’re not rubbing off on Photex re bad habit of asking the same question umpteen times even though facts are presented umpteen times in front of him!!

cheers and good Night
 
@Yokel

Before I pass out I’ll just give you a quick summary of how trans National aviation programs and maintenance works.

Massachusetts State Police Air Wing

Back in the late 90s to say 2010/12 the state police operated few then Eurocopter AS355 Twinstars or what we cLl Twin Squirrels.

They were produced and assembled in France

At Lonoon Oxford Airport, have Airbus Helicopters UK. A decade ago it was Eurocopter UK and decade earlier it was called MacAlpines a it was called in the day, has a good reputation for role fit Eurocopter products to customer requirements be it Police, air ambulance, firefighting.

Anyhow the Stare Police Air Wing factory fresh AS355 passed through then McAlpines and everyone from the draughtsman, to avionics and engineers got to work to fit the likes of Nightsun searchlight, Forward Looking Infr Res, loudspeakers etc ans painted in the state Police colors.

after Flight tests with the new equipment Er , the aircradg get shipped off to then American Eurocopter in Texas (now known as Airbus Helicopters INc) where the certification process for FAA etc and then once all boxes are ticked then the helicopters start patrolling the skies above Boston, Yale etc.ä

Today the state Police fly Airbus Helicopters H135 for under a decade.

cheers
 

Yokel

LE
If you go to the PPRuNe Military Aviation forum and do a search for 'Puma', you will find a thread from May 2011 commenting on a Private Eye story about the Puma update and politics.

You mentioned MH-60R, but did not mention ASW - the critical mission for naval helicopters. I wonder if the Puma has greater lift capacity than MH-60 variants? I am not sure how the DOD regulatory process works, but in the UK civilian aircraft operating in that environment, such as the Daulphins operated for FOST, would go through the whole certification process.
 
If you go to the PPRuNe Military Aviation forum and do a search for 'Puma', you will find a thread from May 2011 commenting on a Private Eye story about the Puma update and politics.

You mentioned MH-60R, but did not mention ASW - the critical mission for naval helicopters. I wonder if the Puma has greater lift capacity than MH-60 variants? I am not sure how the DOD regulatory process works, but in the UK civilian aircraft operating in that environment, such as the Daulphins operated for FOST, would go through the whole certification process.
I said i omitted MH-60R because it was NOT RELEVANT TO THIS DISCUsiON
 
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My favorite Puma, the Puma Pirate with a GIAT 20 mm M 621 cannon.

The picture below was taken in CAR in August 2014; at the beginning of this month, in Batangafo, North CAR, the Pirate got to work on a group of rebels which had attacked French units. A large number of rebels were then reported neutralized by 20 mm cannon fire.

10644698_732925190086542_2863741561160513816_o.jpg
 
As far as I know, the RAF Puma has never operated from a ship, but other countries frequently do operate it from ships. They are even civilian ones performing HDS/VERTREP roles for the US Navy.

So what is different about theirs? Genuine question.

Ship borne Puma

ErjZTD3XEAUy8ym.jpg
ErjZPv3XIAEAIRQ.jpg
 

Yokel

LE
I know a lot of commercial operators have used to Puma for things like supporting the offshore industry and the like, but what about non military Government and Police users? The chin turret on the black and yellow Bond Helicopters aircraft in the pictures posted by @NSP has to be some sort of camera.

I also vaguely recall that Chile operate multiple Pumas/Cougars from ships - is that in an amphibious assault role or to do things like ASW? Are they fitted with missiles for an ASuW role?
 
I know a lot of commercial operators have used to Puma for things like supporting the offshore industry and the like, but what about non military Government and Police users? The chin turret on the black and yellow Bond Helicopters aircraft in the pictures posted by @NSP has to be some sort of camera.

I also vaguely recall that Chile operate multiple Pumas/Cougars from ships - is that in an amphibious assault role or to do things like ASW? Are they fitted with missiles for an ASuW role?

The German police uses about a dozen AS332


And Japan uses H225 for its Coast Guards....among many LE and rescue users

Japan-Coast-Guard-Airbus-H225-840x480.jpg


...such as the Los Angeles Sheriff Dpt

R-LASD-AS332-Super-Puma-__-600x300-a.png
 
Ireland hired in Pumas from the West German government for a Papal visit and we also leased a Puma from, of all nations, Ethiopia. The pilots and mechs loved it but it's stay in the Air Corps was brief.
 
What type do you think will eventually replace the RAF Pumas?
 
What type do you think will eventually replace the RAF Pumas?

I have read recently that Airbus intends to propose, among other solutions, the H 160 M (text below).

Meanwhile, the airframer continues to target the UK for military sales should London clarify its approach to replacing the Royal Air Force’s Puma fleet.

Last week, Jerome Combe, head of product policy and strategy at the airframer, said that Airbus Helicopters could offer the H225M, NH90 or H175 should the 23 Puma HC2s be wirthdrawn in 2025 as currently planned.

To that list, Even adds the 6t H160M, which is being developed for the French armed forces, with deliveries beginning in 2026.



D7kpIw7W4AAh3eW.jpg
 
I have read recently that Airbus intends to propose, among other solutions, the H 160 M.

Meanwhile, the airframer continues to target the UK for military sales should London clarify its approach to replacing the Royal Air Force’s Puma fleet.

Last week, Jerome Combe, head of product policy and strategy at the airframer, said that Airbus Helicopters could offer the H225M, NH90 or H175 should the 23 Puma HC2s be wirthdrawn in 2025 as currently planned.

To that list, Even adds the 6t H160M, which is being developed for the French armed forces, with deliveries beginning in 2026.


View attachment 544630
It's a bit small compared to a Puma though.
 
Yes the H160 is a mix of different classes.
You mean it's a dog's breakfast? We'll order a couple of hundred. Then chop the order to 15. Maybe 20.
 

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