As part of a ceremonial handover, RUAG returned the last of a total of nine modernised Cougars to the Swiss Air Force’s helicopter fleet. The series modernisation program received approval from the Federal Council in 2018 on the occasion of the Army Dispatch and started in early 2019 with the conversion of the first Cougar.
In February 2017, as part of the 2018 Army Dispatch, the Federal Council commissioned the series project and thus the value retention of the Swiss Air Force’s fleet of Cougars. After the successful value retention program to modernise the TH89 Super Puma to become the TH06, the TH98 Cougar was in turn modernised to make it the TH18. This modernisation program lasted around three years and concluded according to plan with the handover of the last of the remaining eight modernised TH18 Cougars.
To extend the useful life of the helicopter, which was already 20 years old, and ensure its availability until at least 2035, RUAG modernised the fleet of TH98 Cougars. The goal of the value retention was to harmonise the Super Puma and Cougar transport helicopters. This will allow more uniform and simplified operational procedures and training.
As a future-oriented technology partner of the Swiss Armed Forces, RUAG makes a significant contribution to sovereign security for Switzerland. The life cycle management, operation and availability of military systems are paramount.