skip to main content

RAF Pumas to replace Bell 412 helicopters in Cyprus

On 6 February, two Puma HC2s departed from RAF Benson in England to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to begin a long-term detachment. (Crown Copyright)

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has despatched two Westland-Aerospatiale SA 330E Puma HC2 medium-lift helicopters from the UK to take over search-and-rescue (SAR) duties in Cyprus.

The service announced the deployment on 6 February, saying that a third Puma helicopter will soon be sent to join the two that have now begun their 3,500 km flight from RAF Benson in England to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

The Pumas are being deployed to RAF Akrotiri to take on SAR duties from the Bell 412 helicopters operated by 84 Squadron. It follows a similar recent transition to the Puma from the Bell 212 for 1563 (Brunei) Flight.

As previously outlined by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the RAF's 23 Pumas are taking on the roles of the Army Air Corps' 212 and the RAF's 412 helicopters as those contracted services run their course. The Puma itself – along with the Airbus Dauphin – is set to be replaced by the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) that is due to enter service from 2025.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...