- Yes for the French tech tree, since it is a licensed S.A.330 version.
- Yes for the Italian tech tree, since Romanian aircraft are already in that tree.
Hello, I would like to introduce you a good workhorse in the helicopter family which proved to be effective in most of it’s roles: transport, Medevac, Search & Rescue as well as Attack and Antitank role: the I.A.R 330 Puma.
I.A.R. 330 PUMA is a licence-built version of the Aérospatiale S.A. 330 Puma helicopter, manufactured by the Romanian aerospace manufacturer Industria Aeronautica Romana (shortly abreviated I.A.R - hence the name) in Brasov (Romania).
Romania acquired the licence from Aérospatiale to produce the Puma in July 1974 and the first licence-built helicopter designated I.A.R. 330H flew for the first time in October 1975. It was soon followed and modernised into the I.A.R. 330L configuration in 1977, which improved it’s capabilities. 165 helicopters were built, from which 112 were sent to Romanian Airforces, the rest of them being put into export market for other countries: Lebanon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Sudan etc.
Picture of I.A.R.330 flying in formation
As stated before, it is a license-built version of S.A. 330 Puma, a four-bladed, twin-engined medium transport/utility helicopter, which was designed and originally produced by the French aerospace manufacturer Sud Aviation. It is capable of carrying up to 20 passengers as well as a variety of cargoes, either internally or externally and numerous armaments can be outfitted to some helicopters - including I.A.R.330. The frame can also fly with 1 single engine in case of emergency and land safely back to base.
And here’s where this post gets an interesting twist: instead of focusing on I.A.R.330 Puma SOCAT some of us know already (and will come in a separate post on this forum), I will present to you the 330L early, pre-production attack version of this helicopter.
Images of I.A.R.330L attack version
Here’s another picture with all the weapon capabilities of this attack variant:
It is basically an I.A.R.330L base version converted into attack role by the Romanian Airforce during the Communist regime (pre-1989) and was the 1st successful attempt at converting the helicopter into an anti-armor variant. Unfortunately, due to the secrecy of Romania’s military during the Communist regime and the chaos which came with the 1989s Revolution, little is publicly known about it’s fate and why it was not adopted into service. It is also possible that I.A.R. 316 attack variant made this conversion not worth to chase for the military use by that time - since it had mostly the same armament capabilities like S5 Soviet rocket pods and Maliutka ATGMs, or was simply doomed by the chaos of the Revolution, as mostly happened with most military projects during that time.
We do know however that it was built, tested, put on hold and later on re-configured into the PUMA SOCAT in the 1990s modernization program, which shares some of it’s armament and combat capabilities - proving that the concept was liked by the army and subsequently re-taken with more modern armament and equipment upgrades after almost a decade of stagnation.
Source of 2D drawing: Figure 2 from First Steps towards the certification of IAR-330 Puma naval for helicopter-ship operations | Semantic Scholar
- Crew: 1–3
- Capacity: 16 fully equipped troops
- Length: 18.15 m (59 ft 7 in) (overall), 14.06 m (46 ft 2 in)
- Height: 5.14 m (16 ft 10 in)
- Empty weight: 3,615 kg (7,970 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 7,400 kg (16,314 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Turboméca Turmo IVC turboshaft engines, 1,175 kW (1,576 hp) each
- Main rotor diameter: 15.00 m (49 ft 3 in)
- Main rotor area: 176.7 m2 (1,902 sq ft)
- Cruise speed: 271 km/h (168 mph, 146 kn) (max cruise)
- Never exceed speed: 294 km/h (183 mph, 159 kn)
- Range: 572 km (355 mi, 309 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 6,000 m (20,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 9.2 m/s (1,810 ft/min)
Regarding the armament, we will see that I.A.R.330 had mainly access to Soviet equipment, since Romania was part of the Soviet Block and a Warshaw pact member - either indigenously built under license, or purchased directly from USSR.
- 2 x 23mm single barrel NR-23 Soviet gun pods(on the sides of the nose) with 400 rounds each (optional)
- UB-16-57 unguided rocket launcher: on 4 hardpoints, with 16 x S-5 Soviet rockets
- 2 x 7.62 mm Md.66 (license-built PKM) with 100 or 250 rounds/mag or 12.7mm DShK with 100 rounds/mag, door mounted machine guns (usually only one mounted on the starboard side, but can be both equipped as well), with full ammo up to 1000 rounds/gun, operated by gunners
- Malyutka wire guided ATGM (4 rails above the hardpoints - usually paired with UB-16-57 launchers)
- 50 or 100 kg bombs (4 hardpoints), probably of Soviet design
Other pictures for camo choices and internal view:
In-game, this helicopter can come as an addition for a subtech-tree, following the already-existing I.A.R.316 and creating a Romanian, license-built Sud Aviation helicopters. Comparing it with 316, the Puma is stronger, faster, can carry more and has more potent armament which can be carried in 1, single configuration. And can be followed up by Puma SOCAT - which is still in service today. Don’t worry, the SOCAT will come on the forums, but in a separate post.
Extras with videos from BIAS (Baneasa International Air Show) of 2 I.A.R.330 variants doing a flight demonstration to the public:
- I.A.R. 316 & 330 Medevac video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDbPnCM9qus&t=2s
- I.A.R. 330 Puma SOCAT (Modernised attack version of 330L): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz7ySWk5uB4
Thank you for your time to read my suggestion and please feel free to leave any additional documentation - if you find any.
IAR 330 PUMA SOCAT - technical specifications
Aripi romanesti : Elicopterele Romaniei… | RomaniaMilitary
need help IAR-330 PUMA nr tactic 107 - Forum Machete,Modelism,Hobby
IAR-330: Romanian version of the Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma helicopter - Military-wiki
Rachete antitanc in Armata Romana: Maliutka/AT-3 Sagger - Romania Military
List of equipment of the Romanian Armed Forces - Wikipedia
Figure 2 from First Steps towards the certification of IAR-330 Puma naval for helicopter-ship operations | Semantic Scholar
IAR 330 - Wikipedia
Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma - Wikipedia
1/32 HC.1 RAF Puma Northern Ireland - Page 3 - Work in Progress - Aircraft - Britmodeller.com
IAR 330 | Military Wiki | Fandom
IAR 330 - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia