Air Weapons

Aérospatiale

AS 332 Super Puma

Despite the success of the Puma, it soon became apparent the need to improve its overall performance which eventually led to the Aérospatiale AS 332 Super Puma. Although sharing its predecessor's general layout and function, the Super Puma was notable for its improved powerplant, lengthened nose, high energy absorption landing gear and small ventral fin. Other less apparent changes involved composite rotor blades, damage-resistant transmission, duplicate electric and hydraulic systems, self-sealing fuel tanks and even optional crew armor. This allowed the Super Puma to considerably more survivable and thus more suitable for battlefield roles, mostly as an assault transport but also as a naval helicopter capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine, and search and rescue (SAR) operations. These military variants, operated by over 30 nations around the world (including licence-built units in Indonesia), are now known as the AS 532 Cougar with civilian versions retaining the earlier Super Puma name.

The first attempt to significantly improve the capabilities of the Puma resulted in the AS 331 with production soon switching to the more advanced AS 332 which first flew on 13 September 1981. The initial military transport version was the AS 332B (with a civil equivalent known as the AS 332C) which was eventually upgraded into the AS 332M with a lengthened cabin for increased loads. More recent versions include the AS 332L1/L2 with composite rotor blades and a strengthened fuselage. Finally, a navalized version optimized for ASUW, ASW, and SAR missions was also known as the AS 332F. Eventually, all military versions were renamed and redesignated as the AS 532 Cougar which included the earlier AS 332B (AS 532UC), AS 332M (AS 532UL), and AS 332F (AS 532MC) as well as new-build variants such as the AS 532AC (short fuselange) and AS 532AL (long fuselage) armed assault variants and the AS 532SC (short-fuselage) type for naval use. The latest versions are the civil EC 225 and military EC 735 with FADAC engine systems, a full glass cockpit, and a five-blade rotor.

Preceded by:

SA 330 Puma (1968)

Succeeded by:

None

Datafile

DesignAS 332L1AS 532AL
NameSuper PumaCougar
TypeTransportTransport
Year19811981
Crew23
Dimensions
Length18.70 m18.70 m
Height4.60 m4.95 m
Rotor Diameter15.60 m15.60 m
Rotor Disc Area176.7 m²191.1 m²
Wing Span15.60 m15.60 m
Wing Area176.7 m²191.1 m²
Weight
Empty4,500 kg4,460 kg
Maximum8,600 kg9,350 kg
Wing Loading48.7 kg/m²48.9 kg/m²
Performance
Speed304 km/h262 km/h
Ceiling5,200 m4,100 m
Range831 km842-1,245 km
Powerplant
Engine2 x Makila 1A1
Turbomeca
1,400 kW
2 x Makila 1A1
Turbomeca
1,400 kW
Thrust/Weight0.760.77
Armament
Guns-2 x 20-mm
1 x 7.62-mm
Payload4,500 kg4,500 kg
Production
Built??
Total?

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