Second batch of five French Cougars upgrade confirmed

Second batch of five French Cougars upgrade confirmed

6-Jan-2010 Source: DGA

The Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has ordered the renovation of a second batch of five Cougar helicopters, including 4 from the Army and one from the Air Force. These are part of the contract to upgrade 27 Cougars, reported to Eurocopter in January 2008 amounting to 220 million euros.
The goal of the renovation of Cougar is to maintain their operational readiness for the next 20 years:

  • Renovating their avionics to ensure compliance with regulatory developments of general air traffic;
  • Modernizing their self-protection system to meet the evolving threat of anti-aircraft;
  • Integrating the information system terminal light aircraft of the Army (ALT SIT).

The main task of the Cougar helicopters is tactical transport (capacity about 20 persons), day and night. The missions are associated transport of  equipment or supplies to the civilians in the event of conflict or natural disasters, in areas inaccessible by road.
The tactical helicopter airlift capability of the Army is both the Puma and Cougar. The renovated Cougar is likely to remain an essential vehicle for tactical transport, after 2011 alongside the NH 90 helicopter to replace the Puma. Delivery of the renovated aircraft is scheduled from 2012 to 2015.

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