Airbus Helicopters has ruled out the introduction of a successor to its Super Puma family of heavy twin-engined rotorcraft for the foreseeable future, according the airframer's chief executive.
Speaking at an event in Marignane to celebrate the 1,000th Super Puma delivery on 6 September, Bruno Even said production of the family – comprising the H215 and H225 – would continue well into the coming decades.
"As long as we see it being competitive in the market, we will continue to produce it – at minimum beyond 2030."
Even says the manufacturer continues to invest in the two helicopters to improve features such as "reliability and safety".
Airbus Helicopters had previously planned to replace the H225 from around 2025 with its proposed 11t-class X6.
However, the development effort was cancelled by former chief executive Guillaume Faury in January 2018 after the manufacturer was unable to formulate a "solid and balanced business case" for the programme.
Feasibility studies launched in 2015 had shown there was no appetite from the market for a new heavy helicopter, and that proposed technologies were not sufficiently mature to be deployed.
Even says he sees "no reason" to reverse his predecessor's decision and develop a clean-sheet aircraft "when the feedback I have from customers is that the Super Puma is a fantastic helicopter".
"I would not say that I see the Super Puma being competitive at minimum beyond 2030 if I had a successor in mind," he says.
The company can propose "significant improvements" to customers, Even says, to boost the "performance and competitiveness" of the rotorcraft.
"The Super Pumas of tomorrow will still bear the name of their ancestors, but will offer customers new capabilities beyond 2030," he says.