OXFORD, England, June 6 (UPI) -- Eurocopter UK has been given three support contracts to maintain 24 Royal Air Force Puma Mk2 helicopters.
The helicopters are currently being upgraded by Eurocopter U.K. under a 2009 contract from the Ministry of Defense.
The maintenance support contract is for three years and carries an estimated value of about $78.4 million.
"As a major onshore supplier to the U.K. government and its agencies, we are proud to further expand our services in the military environment with this latest contract," said Markus Steinke, Eurocopter U.K.'s managing director.
"We intend to leverage our significant support expertise from Britain's civil helicopter hub at Oxford, which is proven to be highly reactive and cost effective, and introduce this into the Puma fleet, setting new standards in military helicopter support."
Of the 24 Puma's undergoing upgrade, eight have completed the process. Improvements include installation of Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines; integration of a full glass cockpit with modern avionics and a flight management system; implementation of a digital automatic flight control system; and addition of a more secure communications suite, defensive aids and ballistic protection.