Rare indication of competition for UK Puma replacement

A rare official indication that the UK will open up a competition to replace its ageing Puma HC2 fleet, as well as three other legacy rotary platforms, has been made public in what will likely be a tightly contested effort between defence industry heavyweights.

While the 23 remaining Puma helicopters are expected to be retired from service in 2025, no formal competition announcement or indication on platform requirements has ever been made public by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Westland Puma HC2
The Defence Command Paper confirmed plans to retire the RAF's ageing fleet of Westland Puma HC2 medium-lift tactical transport helicopters from operational service in 2025. Khalem Chapman

Detailed in the March 22 release of the UK Defence Command Paper, the programme will see investment in a new medium lift helicopter in the mid-2020s in order to consolidate the disparate fleet of four platform types in service, including the Royal Air Force’s 23 Puma HC2s, with a single design.

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