Eurocopter has won a €60 million ($79 million), three-year deal to support 24 Puma helicopters it is upgrading to the HC2 standard for the UK Royal Air Force.

The support contract will be co-ordinated through Eurocopter UK's facility in Oxford, close to the main operating base for the Puma fleet at RAF Benson.

Eight Pumas have been upgraded under the programme so far, which was awarded to Eurocopter by the UK Ministry of Defence in 2009.

The enhancements add uprated Turbomeca Makila 1A1 powerplants, a full glass cockpit, additional defensive aids and ballistic protection. The programme extends the operational life of the helicopters to 2025.

Source: Flight International