The 300th Squadron uses the AS-532U2 Cougar transport helicopter for transporting troops and equipment. External loads can be hooked under the hull. Some Cougars can operate as a helicopter aboard ship. For this they are equipped with inflatable floats to float in emergencies. The tasks also includes assistance in firefighting.
The history of the Cougar goes back to the Anglo-French SA 330 Puma helicopter. This 1965 stemming medium tactical support helicopter was mainly intended for the transportation of people and equipment directly into the combat zone. Later, the Puma was extended by the French branch of Eurocopter and aggravated. The result was the AS 332 Super Puma, which was again developed a specific military version: AS 532U2 Cougar.
A Cougar fights a fire with
a bambi bucket at Assen, 2011.
Over the years, the Cougar is repeatedly used during missions. the Cougar took part in 2001 and 2002 to the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Bosnia. In 2004, the Cougar took Iraq to the tasks of the Chinook detachment about. The Cougars transported personnel and equipment and were 24-hour standby for medical evacuation of Dutch soldiers. In addition, a Cougar helped during the first free elections in Iraq with the transportation of the ballots.
During NATO's ISAF operation in Afghanistan to support the Cougars from April 2006 until mid-2010, the Dutch Task Force Uruzgan.
Cougars are used as board helicopter during several anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast (2012 and 2013). From naval vessels as the Hr. Ms Rotterdam they argued among other recognition flights and transports them boarding teams of Marines and they even brought suspicious ships to stop. Until August 2015, the device is also used to transport patients from the islands.
The Cougar is like the Chinook used for firefighting. Both helicopters are equipped with so-called ‘bambi buckets‘. These are flexible water bags hung under the helicopter. The Cougar flying bucket can be filled with 2,500 liters. They do this in the Netherlands, but sometimes beyond. In August 2005 two Cougars were deployed to fight forest fires in Portugal and in Greece in August 2007.
The two-engine Cougar has a four-bladed main rotor. The rotor blades are articulated Spheriflex. This highly impact-resistant fiberglass makes the rotors withstand example bullet impacts. The device has a retractable landing gear.
Depending on the mission of the Cougar crew can be extended with a so-called "doorgunner". The loadmaster and gunner then are controlling the weapons mounted in the side door, type FN MAG 7.62mm machine guns.
A Cougar is standard suitable for:
In operating conditions, the Cougar can take:
The Cougar transport helicopters are equipped with a comprehensive self-protection package. One of the self-protection is the ISPS (Integrated Self-Protection System). This computer-controlled system consists MAWS (Missile Approach Warning System), the RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) and an Advanced Countermeasures Set (ACMS).
The MAWS alerts the crew in a rocket attack. The RWR ensures that the crew is alerted when it is followed by a radar system. The system recognizes the signals from radar systems (hunting) aircraft, missiles and ground stations. On the basis of this information, the ACMS take the proper countermeasures.
That countermeasure may be firing flares. The MAWS recognizes missiles that target using infrared radiation from the hot exhaust of the helicopter. Flares are very hot flares being shot in a rocket attack from one of the six special containers. The rocket then focuses on this heat in place of the exhaust.
What does MAWS for heat-seeking missiles, missile RWR does that follow the helicopter with its own radar. As a countermeasure is fired chaff. This cloud of a kind of foil that is the missile radar helicopter since. Simultaneously, the helicopter puts a special evasive movement.