Eurocopter AS532 Cougar
|Eurocopter AS532 AL of the Bulgarian Air Force|
|Role||Medium Utility Helicopter|
|First flight||September 1977|
|Status||Active in production|
|Primary users||French Air Force
Bulgarian Air Force
Turkish Air Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
|Developed from||Eurocopter AS332|
The Eurocopter AS532 Cougar (now Airbus Helicopters H215M) is a twin-engine, medium-weight, multipurpose helicopter developed by France. The AS532 is a development and upgrade of the Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma in its militarized form. (Its civilian counterpart is the Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma.) The AS532 has been further developed as the Eurocopter EC725.
Design and development
The AS332 Super Puma, designed as a growth version to replace the SA 330 Puma, first flew in September 1977. It was fitted with two 1,330 kW Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines, composite rotor blades, improved landing gear and a modified tailfin.
In 1990 all military Super Puma designations were changed from "AS 332" to "AS 532 Cougar" to distinguish between the civil and military variants of the helicopter.
Canada had considered purchasing the Cougar to replace their CH-113 Labrador, but opted in the end to purchase the CH-149 Cormorant. In 2012 France began a €288.8m project (€11.1m/unit) to upgrade 23 Army Cougars and 3 for the Air Force to address obsolescence issues and to deliver similar avionics to their EC225 and EC725 helicopters.
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- AS532 UL/AL
- The AS 532 UL/AL is the long version of the Cougar family and is powered by two Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines. It carries a crew of 2 and up to 29 troops or 6 injured passengers on stretchers plus 10 others. As with the other versions of the Cougar, the AS 532 UL/AL can lift 4.5 tons by means of a sling. The Horizon battlefield ground surveillance system can be installed on the AS 532 UL (utility version). The AS 532 AL (armed version) can also be fitted with a variety of weapons, including pod-mounted 20 mm cannons, 68 mm rocket-launchers and side-mounted rapid fire machine-guns.
- AS532 SC
- The AS 532SC is the naval version of the Cougar family and is powered by two Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines. This version is mainly used for Anti-surface unit warfare (ASUW), fitted with AM 39 Exocet missiles; Anti-submarine warfare (ASW), fitted with a variable-depth sonar and torpedoes; Search and rescue; and Sea patrols. For deck landing, securing at high sea states, maneuver and traverse this variant can be fitted with ASIST.
- French Army Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR or RESCO in French) version.
Notable accidents and incidents
- 25 July 2012 – A Cougar crashed in a steep section of the Verdon Gorge in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France near the Italian border during a test flight. Six people died, all employees of Eurocopter. Witnesses said the helicopter had hit an electricity cable. The helicopter had been destined for the Albanian Air Force.
Specifications (AS532 UB)
Data from Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory
- Crew: 2
- Capacity: 20 troops
- Length: 15.53 m (50 ft 11½ in)
- Rotor diameter: 15.6 m (51 ft 2 in)
- Height: 4.92 m (16 ft 2 in)
- Disc area: 206 m² (2,217 ft²)
- Empty weight: 4,350 kg (9,590 lb)
- Useful load: 4,650 kg (10,250 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 9,000 kg (19,840 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft, 1,185 kW (1,589 shp) each
- Never exceed speed: 278 km/h (150 knots, 173 mph)
- Maximum speed: 249 km/h (134 knots, 154 mph)
- Cruise speed: 239 km/h (129 knots, 148 mph)
- Range: 573 km (310 nm, 357 mi)
- Service ceiling: 3,450 m (11,319 ft)
- Rate of climb: 7.2 m/s (1,417 ft/min)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- Canadian Air Force – CH-149 Cormorant Purchase and operation details
- "Projet de loi de finances pour 2013 : Défense : équipement des forces" (in French). Senate of France. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- Endres and Gething 2005, p. 487.
- "World Air Forces 2014" (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "World's Air Forces 2004", Flight International (flightglobal.com), p. 59, retrieved 12 March 2013
- "World's Air Forces 2004", Flight International (flightglobal.com), p. 100, retrieved 12 March 2013
- Taylor, M J H (editor) (1999). Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000 Edition. Brassey's. ISBN 1-85753-245-7.
- Endres, Günter G. and Michael J. Gething. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide. HarperCollins UK, 2005. ISBN 0-00718-332-1.
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