Nov 17, 2014
Albania receives final Cougar helicopter
The country originally ordered the Cougar helicopters for the Albanian Air Brigade in December 2009, with the fourth aircraft being delivered in a troop transport configuration.
Albania joined NATO in 2009, and has been making efforts to replace older Soviet-designed equipment..
The 2009 deal, worth EUR78.6 million (USD102.7 million), was for five Cougars in four different configurations: two troop transports, one medical evacuation (medevac), one search and rescue (SAR), and one VIP transportation helicopter.
The VIP transport configured Cougar was originally planned to be the first delivered to Albania. However it crashed during a test flight in July 2012, killing all six on board. Albania however opted not to receive another VIP Cougar in its place, choosing instead to receive two EC145 light twin-engine light-utility helicopters in a disaster management configuration. These two EC145 helicopters are expected to be delivered to Albania in the second half of 2015.