French Army AS-532 Cougar in Afganistan

The Eurocopter AS 532 Cougar is a twin-engined, medium-weight, multipurpose helicopter.

The AS 532 is a further development and upgrade of the Aérospatiale Puma in its militarized form. (Its civilian counterpart is the Eurocopter Super Puma.) The AS 532 has been further developed as the Eurocopter EC 725.

The AS 332 Super Puma, designed as a growth version to replace the SA 330 Puma, first flew in September 1977. It was fitted with two 1330kW Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines, composite rotor blades, improved landing gear and a modified tailfin.

The 2-engine AS 532 Cougar can be powered by Turbomeca Makila 1A1 or 1A2 Turboshaft engines. The AS 532 Mk2 cougars from the Royal Netherlands Air Force are fitted with the Makila 1A2 version. This engine produces a maximum thrust of 1.573 kW and a constant thrust of 1.236 kW. The Makila has a 3-stage axial compressor, 1-stage centrifugal compressor, annular type combustion chamber, 2-stage gas generator turbine and a 2-stage power turbine.

A wide variety of specialised military variants are in use, including dedicated Search and rescue and ASW versions. Since 1990, military Super Pumas have been marketed as the Cougar.

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.

AS-532 COUGAR Specifications
Type Multi-role medium lift helicopter
Manufacturer Eurocopter
Accommodation Two pilots and up to 29 troops or 12 stretchers
Armament 7.62mm MG, two 20mm twin gun pods, two 68mm rocket pods (22 each), two 2.75in rocket pods (19 each)

Max speed 325km/h

Main Rotor Diameter 16m
Length 15.5m (UC/AC), 16.3m (UL/AL), 16.8m (U2/A2)
Height 4.6m
Weight weight empty: 4,330kg (UC/AC), 4,460kg (UL/AL), 4,760kg (U2/A2), max take off weight 9,750kg
Powerplant Two Turbomeca Makila 1A2 engines producing 1,877shp each
Variants AS-532 A2 Combat search and rescue, AS-532 UC/AC Utility variant, AS-532 UL/AL stretched version, AS-532 SC naval variant