Naval Warfare

Romanian Navy to Receive Airbus H215M Anti-surface Vessel Warfare Helicopter


Romanian Navy to Receive Airbus H215M Anti-surface Vessel Warfare Helicopter

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Eurocopter AS532 Cougar Anti-surface Vessel Warfare Helicopter
Eurocopter AS532 Cougar Anti-surface Vessel Warfare Helicopter

The Romanian Navy is to receive a pair of Airbus H215M Cougar medium utility military helicopters equipped for anti-surface vessel warfare (ASuW). The anticipated procurement was revealed in a European Union (EU) notification posted on 19 January, which said that the two helicopters would be acquired by Industria Aeronautica Romana (IAR) as the prime contractor for an estimated RON823.9 million (USD179.07 million). Airbus did not disclose details of the ASuW weapon system to be carried by the H215Ms, while neither Airbus nor the EU notification disclosed a proposed delivery timeline for the helicopters.

Romanian company IAR has been selected as the prime contractor for Airbus Helicopters’ H215M multi-role helicopter for future orders placed by the Romanian Ministry of Defense. The companies have extended the five-year agreement by ten more years to show their long-term joint commitment to the modernisation of the Romanian armed forces’ fleet of multi-role helicopters.Confirmation of the sale came about 15 months after the Romanian Ministry of National Defence (MND) requested the country’s parliament to approve the procurement in October 2022. Romania had previously said it would acquire the military-variant H215M, though this deal was never finalised.

Airbus Helicopters H215M twin-engine, medium-weight, multipurpose helicopter
Airbus H215M “Cougar” Medium-weight Multipurpose Helicopter. (Photo by Airbus)

The Eurocopter AS532 Cougar (later called the Airbus Helicopters H215M) is a twin-engine, medium-weight, multipurpose helicopter developed by Eurocopter (now Airbus). The H215M is a development and upgrade of the Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma in its militarized form. The H215M can also be fitted with a variety of weapons, including pod-mounted 20 mm cannons, 68 mm rocket-launchers, and side-mounted rapid fire machine-guns. The AS 532SC is the naval version of the Cougar family. This version is mainly used for Anti-surface unit warfare (ASUW), fitted with AM 39 Exocet missiles; Anti-submarine warfare (ASW), fitted with a variable-depth sonar and torpedoes.

Airbus Defence and Space Romania, a legal entity established in 2005, is located in Bucharest. Initially created as a border project company, the legal entity is now an engineering, roll out and service hub for the full spectrum of the Airbus Defence and Space products and projects. The company has today more than 80 employees, mainly engineers working from Romania or outside its borders. Airbus has strengthened its presence in Romania over the past 50 years by developing exclusive business relations with companies representative of this segment of the industry: IAR, Aerostar, Comoti, Sonaca, Aeroteh, Turbomecanica, Aerofina, INCAS and others.

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