|Aérospatiale SA.330L Puma|
|Armor||Front 0 / Side 0 / Rear 0 / Top 0|
|Fuel Capacity||1000 L|
One of the three supply helicopters available to NATO forces, the SA.330L Puma is faster than its counterparts, the Chinook HC.1 and CH-47C Super Chinook, while carrying respectively two thirds and half of their capacity. It also has a smaller silhouette, making it slightly harder to spot. The speed advantage makes it able to perform its supply missions much faster than any other supply helicopter, but because of its smaller load, it requires more management than the others.
The SA 330 Puma was originally developed by Sud Aviation to meet a requirement of the French Army for a medium-sized all-weather helicopter capable of carrying up to 20 soldiers as well as various cargo-carrying duties. Work started in 1963 with first flight in 15 April 1965. Production Puma first flew September 1968.
The Puma has seen combat in a range of theatres by a number of different operators; significant operations include the Gulf War, the South African Border War, the Portuguese Colonial War, the Yugoslav Wars, the Iraq War, and the Falklands War. The type also saw popular use in the civilian field and has been operated by a number of civil operators.
Puma ca carry up to 15 troops or a cargo of 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds) internally or 2,500 kilograms (5,510 pounds) sling loaded.
As Puma HC Mk 1, the Puma first saw service with the Royal Air Force in 1967. 24 of the RAF Pumas were upgraded to Puma HC Mk2 with Modern glass cockpit, updated defensive countermeasures, a digital automatic flight control system, secure communications, ballistic armor, larger fuel tanks, and Turbomeca Makila 1A1 engines with 1,325 kW (1,780 SHP) each. The HC.2 is capable of hauling twice the payload of the HC.1 over three times the range.
SA.330L Puma is an upgraded military verison with composite main rotors.
Primary users include the French Army and the Royal Air Force.
- Supply helicopters are to be used to resupply troops really far from FOBs, where going by the road might be risky (chances of choosing the wrong road or too many bushes/towns where enemies might be hiding), or difficult to access otherwise (bridges, behind forests, away from the road network...).
- Be careful when back at a fob for resupply, infiltrating infantry can capture landed helicopters when no friendly armed units are around. Putting your FOBs is a good idea to prevent being captured by surprise.
- Resupplying units close to the front can be really tricky, as if you are spotted landing you will reveal your troops' position and become a target to artillery.
- Due to their size, supply helicopters tend to be easy to hit by missiles.