Upgrading Switzerland’s helicopters

​​​​​​​RUAG Aviation is modernising the Swiss Air Force’s Cougar helicopter fleet. A prototype project has already seen the first helicopter upgraded to the state of the art....

The Cougar transport helicopters procured in 1998 have proved to be robust workhorses for the Swiss Air Force for transport, assistance and peacekeeping operations. By 2022 RUAG will now bring these helicopters up to the current state of the art. The upgrade includes a new flight management system, accurate satellite navigation for instrument flight, and warning systems which sound an alarm in the event of imminent collisions or if the helicopter diverges from the specified altitude.

In future, a helmet display feature will ensure that the pilots have all key information in view at all times. The latest generation of radio equipment and satellite phones will allow for secure and efficient communication. RUAG Aviation will also be equipping the helicopters with the IDAS self-protection system, which raises the alert if the aircraft is detected by radar or laser beams or attacked with missiles.

At the same time as the upgrades, the helicopters will undergo a complete overhaul. Combining the modernisation with the general overhaul process ensures that downtimes are kept as short as possible and thus guarantees optimal availability of the helicopters to the Swiss Air Force.

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