European Gunships PART 3

One of the Puma SOCATs from Flotila 71 Aeriană shows off the most common training configuration. The SOCAT is equipped with four rocket pods, 20mm cannon and forwardfacing self-defence sensors, while the pilots wear MiDASH helmets. The SOCAT can also carry Spike XT-5 and XT-8 ER missiles.Liviu Dnistran

In the latest instalment of AFM’s review of Europe’s helicopter gunships, coverage moves to Romania, Spain and Turkey.

FLEET SURVEY

Romania

Tank-busting Pumas

IN THE 1970S, Romania acquired a licence to build the SA330 Puma, locally named IAR-330. Designed as a transport helicopter, the SA330 and the IAR derivative have been transformed into many different versions and outgrew their original mission. There are several variants of the IAR-330 Puma serving the Forţele Aeriene Române (FAR, Romanian Air Force) but the most advanced is the SOCAT (Sistemul Optoelectronic de Cautare si lupta Anti-Tanc, or optoelectronic search and anti-tank combat system) helicopter gunship.

<

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below