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RUAG modernizes eight Swiss Air Force Eurocopter AS532 helicopters

RUAG will upgrade eight Force Eurocopter AS532 Cougar helicopters belonging to the Swiss Air Force’s transport helicopter fleet. The corresponding agreement was signed in December by representatives of armasuisse and RUAG in Bern.

RUAG modernizes eight Swiss Air Force Eurocopter AS532 helicopters Eurocopter AS532 Cougar of the Swiss Air Force (Picture source: Swissinfo)

RUAG is set to upgrade the Cougar helicopters with state-of-the-art technology at their facilities in Emmen by mid-2022. Procured in 1998, the helicopters’ electronic flight controls, navigation and communication systems require extensive modernization. The full scope of the upgrade includes new flight management computers, a precision navigation system for instrument flights, a collision avoidance system, which alerts pilots to aircraft in critical proximity, and a system developed by RUAG which emits an audible signal when the rotorcraft leaves a defined flight level.

The package also features helmet-mounted displays, for projecting the most important flight data on the pilot’s visor, as well as the latest generation of radio equipment and satellite phones, for ensuring safe and efficient communication.

RUAG will also equip the helicopters with the latest IDAS-3 self-defense system. This system alerts the crew to radar, laser and electro-optical waves, as well as missiles. It also issues countermeasures, such as dispensing decoys.

In addition to the upgrade, RUAG is also tasked with conducting a full overhaul on the helicopters. The Cougar specialists at RUAG plan to disassemble the transport helicopters, check the relevant parts for wear and damages and repair or replace parts as necessary. The intent is that the helicopters will be returned to the Air Force as good as - or even better than - new.