Eurocopter AS.532 Cougar U2
At the end of October 1993 Eurocopter received a Dutch order for the delivery of seventeen AS532-U2 Cougars. These were meant to be used as medium transport helicopter for the newly formed airmobile force of the Dutch army.
Part of the deal was that a number of the Alouette III helicopters were handed over to Eurocopter.
Some Cougars are equipped with systems making them capable to make decklandings aboard naval vessels. These Cougars are also equipped with inflatable floats.
To improve teh safety the Dutch Cougars are equipped with HUMS (Health and Usage Monitoring System).
Further they are equipped with ISPS (Integrated Self Protection System) consisting of MAWS (Missile Approach Warning System), RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) and ACMS (Advanced Counter Measures Set). The Cougar also carries flares, linked to MAWS, and chaff, linked to MWR.
Depending on the type of mission the crew can be extended with a so called 'doorgunner'. Both the loadmaster and the doorgunner use the FN MAG 7.62 mm machine guns.
Together with the Chinook, the Cougar is also used for fire fighting and can carry a so called bambi-bucket (fire-bucket). These buckets contains about 2500 liter water.
In 2001 and 2002 five aircraft were sent to Bosnia because of Stabilisation Force (SFOR); main task were medevac for the IRT, (Incident Response Team). A hoist was added to the Cougar and a medic was added to the crew.
In 2004 the Cougar was sent to Iraq to succeed the Chinook. Task was mainly transport and MEDEVAC for the Dutch Battle Group.
Cougars were also use in Afghanistan to support the Task Force Uruzgan (TFU).