The French defence procurement agency, Direction Generale de l’Armement (DGA), has awarded a contract to Eurocopter for the modernisation of seven Cougar helicopters.

The contract was awarded within the framework of a previous €220m deal, signed with Eurocopter in January 2008.

The upgrade programme is intended to modernise the avionics, self-protection equipment and integrate the information system terminal for the Light Army Aviation.

Out of the seven upgraded Cougar helicopters, six will be delivered to the French army and one to the air force.

The Cougar is a tactical transport aircraft that can accommodate up to 20 passengers and is capable of conducting search and rescue missions in conflict areas or natural disaster affected areas.