Eurocopter AS532 Cougar

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AS532 Cougar
Eurocopter AS-532UL Cougar, France - Army (cropped).jpg
Eurocopter AS532 the French Army
Role Medium utility military helicopter
National origin France
Manufacturer Aérospatiale
Airbus Helicopters
First flight September 1977
Introduction 1978
Status In service
Primary users French Air Force
Bulgarian Air Force
Turkish Air Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
Produced 1977–present
Developed from Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma
Variants Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma
Developed into Eurocopter EC725

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.[1] 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.[2]


Chilean Navy Cougar – UNITAS 47-06
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.[3]
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.[3]
French Army Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR or RESCO in French) version.


An Ecuadorian AS532 Cougar
Eurocopter Cougar of the Slovenian Army.
 Saudi Arabia
Eurocopter AS532UL Cougar Mk1 from the Swiss Air Force

Former Operator


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.[8][9][10]
  • 1 Oct 2016 – A Swiss Air Force Cougar crashed after hitting power lines. Two pilots were killed.
  • 31 May 2017 – A Turkish Air Force Cougar crashed near the Iraqi border after hitting power lines. All 13 soldiers on board were killed.[11]

Specifications (AS532 UB)

Orthographically projected diagram of the AS332 Super Puma

Data from Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory[12]

General characteristics


See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists



  1. ^ "Canadian Air Force – CH-149 Cormorant Purchase and operation details". Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Projet de loi de finances pour 2013 : Défense : équipement des forces" (in French). Senate of France. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b Endres and Gething 2005, p. 487.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "World Air Forces 2014" (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  5. ^ "World's Air Forces 2004", Flight International,, p. 59, retrieved 12 March 2013
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  7. ^ "World's Air Forces 2004", Flight International,, p. 100, retrieved 12 March 2013
  8. ^
  9. ^ "France helicopter crash kills six". 25 July 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2017 – via
  10. ^ "Hand off to penton_404_redirect_page". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Turkish troops killed in helicopter crash near Iraq". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  12. ^ 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.

External links

  • Airbus Helicopters AS532 ALe page
  • AS 532 U2/A2 Cougar Helicopter, Search and Rescue Variant Details
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