SA330 Puma 55 years ago on this day

I am afraid not. Look at the back wheels, you can clearly see the twin wheels of the Puma while the Super Puma and Cougars have single wheels. The rotor head cover is also a give away of the Cougar

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Cougar

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Puma
I meant Cougar is mil version of the Super Puma Family

cheers
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?

Bristow had the original ‘Jigsaw Offshore SAR contract with the black and yellow striped AS332L2 Super PUma before Bond Offshore Helicopters did.

I saw the First one at Helitech 2003 (my photos below) when it was held at IWM Duxford.

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The nose mount is a FLIR

Three years later G-JSAR ditched in North Sea in Nov 2006


cheers
 
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.



View attachment 544630
might want to check out my H160 thread, near the end I discuss the H160M and my photos from Paris Air Show 2019 of the exterior and interior of the H160M mock up.


cheers
 

NSP

LE
With us out of the EU and not needing to be "good Europeans" anymore what's the betting that the US will lean on us to go with one of theirs and the Puma gets replaced with the S-92? Or the UH-60...?

In which case we might as well just chin off both parties and keep Yeovil in jobs by buying more Merlins...
 
What type do you think will eventually replace the RAF Pumas?

Theres also looking further ahead at us participating with the US on the Future Vertical Lift /
The German police uses about a dozen AS332


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

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...such as the Los Angeles Sheriff Dpt

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Spanish cops also fly the Super Puma

I saw one of the LASD Aero Bureau Air 5 Rescue Super Pumas at Heli Expo 2013 in Vegas (my photos). The three of them were owned somewhere in Florida, flown to Heli-One (Part of CHc) up in Vancouver and converted for the LASD.

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Also at Heli Expo was Era Helicopters EC225 (my photos below)

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cheers
 
With us out of the EU and not needing to be "good Europeans" anymore what's the betting that the US will lean on us to go with one of theirs and the Puma gets replaced with the S-92? Or the UH-60...?

In which case we might as well just chin off both parties and keep Yeovil in jobs by buying more Merlins...

S-92 is or the mil version H-92 Superhawk ...the real military customer is the RCAF CH-148 Cyclone. I saw the first one at Paris Air Show decade ago soaked to the skin on the Wednesday of the show.

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Now go back in history to 1998/1999 remember anyone the Support Battlefield Amphibious Rotorcraft (SABR) program to replace Puma , Sea King ...contenders were

-Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey

-Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion

-Sikorsky H-92

-Nh90

-CH-47

Quite a few militaries use the S-92 mainly as VIP presidential shuttle around the world..

With the S-70/UH-60 theres no denying likes of Support Helicopter Force Pilots back in the 1990s wishing for Blackhawk. I spoke to Wessex crew at North Weald Airshow 1993 and they would rather the RAF bought Blackhawk rather than the Merlin.

Unfortunately it is not gonna happen...

cheers
 
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.
Point number 3?what happened? did Westland throw a strop or did Aerospatiale do a French flounce?
 
Point number 3?what happened? did Westland throw a strop or did Aerospatiale do a French flounce?
By that time nothing to do with Westland plus they donot have the jigs or tooling for Puma since the 80s. IIRC Westlands had some Puma stuff at their old Westpn Super Mare plant (which used to be in the hey day Bristol helicopter Ltd)

TBh the writing was always on the wall for OEM to Do the upgrades.

cheers
 
If anyo
If the military were procuring it one presumes that they would procure the militarised version...

Not necessarily. as some of these countries already have some neat gear off the top of my head here are the following countries and they have

Turkey - Turkish National Police use red and white S-92 for Presidential / Parliamentary support. More often than not, this comes into Stansted.

If you look at the Turkish Air Force, Land Forcrs, Navy, Jandarma ...theyve got some everything from Hueys, Blackhawks, Seahawks to the larger CH-47F ...so tbh H-92 does not figure.

Kuwait has presidential S-92 and they have lot of nice kit such as AS332M/AS532, etc so no need.

Turkmenistan has pair of S-92 for governmental use...tbh dont think they have funding to buy H-92 Superhawk

Royal Thai Air Force has S-92 for VIP but like with Turkey they have vast array of rotary wing platforms across their air force, army aviation, navy and police. They have Hueys, UH-72A Lakota, Blackhawks, MI17, AW139, H225M to S-76A and S-70B Seahawk,

Korea has S-92 for Presidential VIP but again their rotary wing fleet like Turkey and Kuwait and Thai is varied again with likes of Blackhawk, KAI Surion, Hueys , CH-47 etc etc

Dont get me wrong, Sikorsky over the last two deacdes been marketing the H-92 Superhawk.. Back at Helitech 2003, N492SA made an appearence (my photos below) still HMX-1 colors during its northern European demonstrator as VH-92 for the first time round. However the sales tour demo was aimed more at the commercial / offshore marketplace in Scandinavia.

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I attended Farnborough Airshow 2008 and N492SA appeared as the mil H-92 demonstrator so got the biref and here are my photos.

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Also back in 2011 Paris Airshow I was givena German Marineflieger marketing pamphlet by the Sikorsky guys.

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Heli Expo 2017, Dallas I saw the new korean Maritime Police (Coast Guard) S-92 ..my pics below

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cheers
 
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Back to Puma / Super Puma thread ....anyone remember the old albeit slightly tad smaller AS332C1 ? Well then Eurocopter around 2013 developed an up version called the AS332C1e which when it all changed to Airbus Helicopters end of the year became known as H215. The Spanish Air Force just took delivery couple of years ago of H215M mil version for SAR replacing their SA330 Pumas, Japan National Police Aviation and German Bundespolizei have ordered the H215.

I first saw the H215 at Heli Expo 2014 in Anaheim and then again at Heli Expo 2016 in Louisville so here are my photos from Louisville.

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Anyhe Starlite H215 after the show,was looked after by Air Center Helicopters from Texas, went on a USA tour which finished off in California as it visited the LASD Aero Bureau at Long Beach Airport, LA County Fire Dept Air Ops at Barton Heliport, Whiteman Airport. This H215 also took part in the USAF Angel Thunder CSAR exercise at Davis-Maonthan AFB. Where the likes of PJs (pararescue Jumper rescue specialists) rappelled out or extracted.

cheers
 
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Yokel

LE
Brazilian H225 on the Atlantico (ex HMS Ocean)

View attachment 554020

Is that a radar on the nose?

Has anyone ever fitted weapons to the Puma/Super Puma/Cougar? I mean things more that the door mounted machine gun, but things like cannon and missiles?

Argentina decided to fit Exocet to their Sikorsky/Augusta Sea Kings. Has anyone done similar with the Puma? Or ASW sensors and weapons?
 
Is that a radar on the nose?

Has anyone ever fitted weapons to the Puma/Super Puma/Cougar? I mean things more that the door mounted machine gun, but things like cannon and missiles?

Argentina decided to fit Exocet to their Sikorsky/Augusta Sea Kings. Has anyone done similar with the Puma? Or ASW sensors and weapons?

Yes have you not seen my post with photos from Paris Air Show 2015 of the 16th ir 17th H225M for Brazilian Navy albeit more for supporting their marines anyhow here are my photos below from attending the H225M brief.

The other SUper Puma for ASW/ASUV for the Brazilian Navy does equip with Exocets.

Cheers

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Is that a radar on the nose?

Has anyone ever fitted weapons to the Puma/Super Puma/Cougar? I mean things more that the door mounted machine gun, but things like cannon and missiles?

Argentina decided to fit Exocet to their Sikorsky/Augusta Sea Kings. Has anyone done similar with the Puma? Or ASW sensors and weapons?

The SA330H Puma as far as I know was never a naval helo lest armed with Exocet just the AS332/532 Super Puma/Cougar variants. Later in 2015 after my above trip to Paris Air Show, I flew to Dubai for DAS 2015 and here are my photos of UAE Navy AS532 with AM39 Exocet.

cheers

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Is that a radar on the nose?

Has anyone ever fitted weapons to the Puma/Super Puma/Cougar? I mean things more that the door mounted machine gun, but things like cannon and missiles?

Argentina decided to fit Exocet to their Sikorsky/Augusta Sea Kings. Has anyone done similar with the Puma? Or ASW sensors and weapons?

French army air corps ALAT uses M3M HMG on Cougar and Nexter 20 mm SH 20 cannon on Caracal. The FAF also uses the SH 20 on its Caracal.

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Firing the SH 20


Both systems are combat proven with the French forces
 
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ColdWarWorrier

Old-Salt
My first flying job after leaving the Army was as a first officer on AS332 for Bristow out of Aberdeen. I remember the 332 as rugged and very reliable, with the ability to fly in weather that would make me think twice today. Absolutely ideal for offshore ops in the North Sea.

I know this thread is about the RAFs 330s but I never managed to get my hands on one apart from the occasional pax flight in Belize.

An ex-RAF colleague at Bristows used to say the RAF should have moved onto the 332 rather than keep upgrading its 330s.

I’m rather late to this thread but enjoying the pics and recalling some nice memories of flying the thing.
 
Last summer a couple of Pumas flew into Woodvale and we got chatting to the crews, plus had a look round one of the old crates.

I noted the plastic sheeting covering the instrument panels in the cockpit - I joked to them is that to keep the rain off? Apparently, yes! Fly through a rainstorm and the guys get wet. They are definitely showing their age.

(I haven’t posted pics for two reasons - not sure of the security implications due to the DASS fit on them. And I was posing and I look a twat)
 

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