Engineering at its best
RUAG Aviation won an international tender for the upgrade of 15 Swiss Air Force TH89 Super Puma helicopters in 2006. "The programme on fully track. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014, with 9 aircraft already delivered," said Heinz Scholl, Vice President Military Aviation at RUAG Aviation. "The integration of a total of 50 new systems created a brand new ISR and SAR mission platform. A key feature strongly enhancing the mission capabilities is the two-way information sharing and providing between the cockpit and the sensor operator," says Beat Furrer who is test pilot at RUAG Aviation and showcases the rotorcraft in Le Bourget. "
These upgrades turn the Swiss Air Force TH06 Super Puma into a specialised rotorcraft for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), search and rescue (SAR) and humanitarian operations. The primary improvements include a glass cockpit with an integrated flight management system, two global positioning systems (GPS), an inertial navigation system and a modern digital map display. The TH06 also incorporates new radio systems that provide police, encrypted radio and satellite transmissions. Flight-data recorders, an anti-collision warning system, a searchlight coupled with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) cameras and helmet mounted displays (HMD) for day and night operations have also been added. "The HMD in conjunction with night visions goggles (NVG) represent one of the upgrade’s a major advantage", says Beat Furrer, "an asset greatly improving situational awareness and safety during night operations in difficult terrain".
The installation and integration of the new components fulfil all European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) requirements. A supplemental type certificate (STC) has been approved by the certifying authority of the Swiss Air Force, armasuisse, in coordination with RUAG Aviation’s EASA Design Organisation Approval (DOA). The EASA DOA covers the design and development of minor and major repairs and modifications to small and large rotorcraft and fixed-wing aircraft registered in EASA member countries. It includes work related to avionics, electrical systems, cabin interiors as well as structure and performance. It also includes the privilege to approve and issue flight permits.
RUAG Aviation is a certified Part 21J EASA Design Organisation, Part 21G EASA Production Organisation and Part 145 EASA Maintenance Organisation.