AS 532 Cougar
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
13 September 1978
Also Known As: AS 332B Super Puma, AS 332M Super Puma, AS 532AC Cougar, AS 532AL Cougar, AS 532UC Cougar, AS 532UL Cougar, Helicoptere d'Observation Radar et d'Investigation sur ZONe, HKP10 and HORIZON
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Description: The Aerospatiale, thereafter Eurocopter and now Airbus Helicopters, SA 330 Puma is a medium lift multi-purpose helicopter designed in the 1960s to meet the requirements of the French Army for an all-weather transport helicopter. The prototype flew for the first time on April 15, 1965. The first production aircraft performed its maiden flight in September 1968. The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force (RAF) joined the SA 330 Puma program through an agreement signed in 1967. In 1981, Aerospatiale introduced the second generation Puma featuring stretched fuselage and more powerful engines. Known as the AS 332 Super Puma or AS 552 Cougar, the prototype first flew in September 1978. The third generation of the Puma helicopter family developed by Eurocopter first flew in November 2000. The civil version is called EC 225 Super Puma and the military version EC 725 Cougar. These aircraft feature a five-bladed main rotor, more powerful engines, state-of-the-art avionics, glass cockpit, more cabin room and improved performance. The EC 225 and EC 725 helicopters achieved initial operational capability in 2004/2005. More than 1,000 Puma/Super Puma/Cougar helicopters have been produced for customers worldwide.
The AS 332 Super Puma was originally designed for the civil market. The AS 332B retaining the SA 330s fuselage was the initial military version introduced in 1981. The B version was replaced by the stretched fuselage AS 332M in 1982. In 1990, the military variants were renamed Cougar and adopted the AS 532 designation. The AS 532AC is a military armed version and the AS 532UC is a military unarmed version both featuring the short fuselage. The longer fuselage versions AS 532UL Cougar and AS 532AL Cougar are unarmed and armed aircraft respectively. The AS 532AL is the current production model for military customers having a hardened airframe to withstand crash loads. The cabin is equipped with crashworthy seats and can accommodate up to 25 fully equipped troops. In addition, the aircraft can be armed with pod mounted guns, rocket launchers, and side-mounted guns. The AS 532AL Cougar is suitable for troops transport, search and rescue missions, medical evacuation, airlift, and fire support.
The HORIZON (Helicoptere d'Observation Radar et d'Investigation sur ZONe) is an airborne early warning aircraft based on the AS 532UL helicopter. The HORIZON radar system can process up to 4,000 moving ground targets simultaneously at ranges of 200 kilometers. The French Army ordered eight HORIZON-equipped helicopters with the first aircraft delivered in 1994. The Super Puma and Cougar helicopters are powered by two Turbomeca Makila 1A1 or 1A2 turboshafts driving a four-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.
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