Swiss Air Force Gets Modernized Super Puma Helicopters

  • 12:00 AM, April 3, 2012
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The first two modernized Super Puma helicopter were handed over to the Swiss Air Force today. The transport aircraft is well-proven and is currently undergoing a major modernization program to upgrade its electronics, which date back to the 1980s, to a level comparable to the Cougar transport helicopter also operated by the Air Force. The Swiss Air Force operates a fleet of 15 Super Pumas, acquired in two tranches from 1987 to 1989 and from 1991 to 1993. To ensure they can remain in service for another 15 years, and to upgrade the onboard technology, the modernization of the Super Puma fleet was approved as part of Armament Program 2006. The aim of this modernization program is twofold: first, it will replace the avionics, whose technology dates from the 1980s, with equipment and systems that meet civil and military requirements and, second, to equip the aircraft with additional instruments. The key changes to the upgraded Super Puma include a modern Flight Management System, two GPS global positioning systems, an inertial navigation system, a modern digital map display, flight data recorders, an anti-collision warning system, and new radio systems (police, encrypted radio, and satellite transmission). After this substantial upgrade the technological level of the upgraded Super Puma fleet will be comparable to that of the Cougar transport helicopters (Armament Program 1998), also operated by the Air Force. This modernization program, carried out by Aviation RUAG in Emmen, will be completed in 2014 with the delivery to the Air Force of the 15th and final upgraded Super Puma (TH06).