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Monday, August 28, 2006

Bulgaria's Air Force Welcomes Cougar Helicopter

Bulgaria's air force took delivery today of its first Eurocopter AS532AL Cougar in a ceremony at the 24th Air Force Base in Krumovo, Bulgaria. Bulgaria in January 2005 ordered 12 Cougars for its air force and six AS565MB Panthers for its navy in a deal valued at 360 million euros ($460 million). Eurocopter is to deliver two more Cougars this year and the rest through 2009. The Panthers are due in 2010 and 2011. Bulgaria, which in March 2004 became a member of NATO, until now has operated only Russian-built military helicopters. Eight Cougars will be used for tactical transport and four for combat search-and-rescue missions. The aircraft also will be used for firefighting, evacuation and mountain rescue. The Panthers will be used for maritime surveillance, SAR, anti-submarine and anti-surface missions. More

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