Romania acquired the license to manufacture the French Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma in 1974, under the designation IAR-330L.
Although a member of the Warsaw Pact, Romania made considerable efforts to be self-sufficient rather than dependent on Soviet support. In the field of helicopters, instead of opting for popular Soviet designs, Romania acquired the license to manufacture the French Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma in 1974. The first licensed helicopter was flown on October 22, 1975 under the designation IAR-330L.
The IAR-330 has a payload capacity of 1,000 kg. It was a complement for the IAR-316 light utility helicopter. It is used for troop and cargo transport purposes. Helicopter provides accommodation for up to 16 troops, plus the crew of three.
The IAR 330 Puma incorporates an all-metal semi-monocoque fuselage. The fuselage is integrated with a cockpit and a 6m long cabin. The power-plant is mounted on the top of the fuselage. The helicopter has a length of 15m, height of 4.6m and a wing span of 3.38m. The diameter of the main rotor is 16.2m. The maximum take-off weight is 7.4 tons.
The IAR-330 is powered by two TURMO IV B turboshaft engines. If one or both engines are stopped, drive gears are rotated by the remaining turbine or autorotation. Helicopter has a four-blade main rotor. The IAR-330 is fitted with a semi-retractable, tricycle type landing gear. Emergency pop-out floatation units were mounted on some helicopters.
The IAR-330 is powered by two Turboméca Turmo IVC turboshaft engines, with 1,576 hp each. Its cruise speed is 271 km/h, range is 572 km, service ceiling is 6,000 m, and rate of climb is 9.2 m/s.
Romania’s IAR-330 helicopter is capable of carrying weapons. The advanced weapon systems include a 20mm turret mounted gun, two side 7.62mm calibre machine guns, two X-5 anti-tank missile launchers and four Nato standard 57/70mm unguided rocket launchers. The helicopter can be optionally armed with air-to-air missiles.