Entering service with the RAF in the early 1970s the Westland Puma HC.1 has become almost unique within the RAF by operating for over three decades without receiving any major upgrades or the introduction of new improved versions. This is testament to the basic qualities of the design and its robust nature.
One of the earliest operators of the Puma was 230 Squadron. Based originally at RAF Odiham the squadron also undertook tours in West Germany, a short detachment to the Gulf as part of operation Granby and a lengthy stint in Northern Ireland based at RAF Aldergrove. From 2009 to the present day they have been based with the rest of the Puma fleet at RAF Benson. 230 Squadron is one of the few RAF squadrons to feature a Tiger on their squadron crest and as a result are invited to the annual NATO Tiger meet. This often involves repainting the aircraft in gaudy cat-like schemes, as seen here with this striking scheme from 1990.Click to search for AA27003 on ebay.co.uk Click to search for AA27003 on amazon.co.uk