Eurocopter’s Puma Mk2 helicopter upgraded
The upgrade of UK Ministry of Defence Puma aircraft took a major step forward last week with Eurocopter completing its first internal qualification of the Puma Mk2 aircraft. This upgrade will significantly enhance the aircraft’s performance, mission capability and safety. The first modified aircraft will fly into the UK in the coming weeks to conclude test and evaluation activities at QinetiQ’s Boscombe Down facility.
Eurocopter’s first internal qualification of the Puma Mk2 was achieved on July 6, concluding the first phase of the planned developments, with further enhancements to its mission capabilities planned over the coming months. To date, Eurocopter has completed the initial upgrade process on three Puma helicopters, all of which are now involved in flight testing. The first of these will be delivered to QinetiQ’s Boscombe Down military test and evaluation centre for further trials.
The Puma Mk2 helicopters represent a key element of the UK’s medium battlefield support helicopter capability, and will be deployed for tactical troop and load movement by day and night. The upgrade will extend the operational lifetime and significantly upgrade the capabilities of 24 of the Royal Air Force Puma helicopters.