EC-225 Super Puma Is One Way of Keeping the USS Ronald Reagan Armed and Dangerous

Theoretically speaking, the period of time a modern aircraft carrier can spend out at sea is limited only by the amount of supplies available for the crew, be it food or ammunition. If that’s taken out of the equation, one is virtually left with a self-sufficient floating city than can be out there for decades.
EC-225 Super Puma dropping cargo on the deck of the USS Ronald Reagan 6 photos
H225M Super PumaEC-225 Super Puma dropping cargo on the deck of the USS Ronald ReaganH225M Super PumaH225M Super PumaH225M Super Puma
Take the USS Ronald Reagan, presently the American Navy’s “only forward-deployed aircraft carrier.” The 21-year old aircraft platform could essentially stay out at sea, if need be, for as long as 25 years.

To be able to do that, it needs to resupply, though, and there are several ways it can achieve that, without it coming back to port. One of those ways is clearly shown in the main photo of this piece, a picture Navy personnel snapped this week in the Indo-Pacific region, from where the Reagan leads Carrier Strike Group 5.

What we see here is an EC-225 Super Puma helicopter, dropping its cargo right on the carrier’s flight deck. This type of mission is called by sailors replenishment-at-sea.

The Super Puma is a European machine, being put together by Eurocopter, now Airbus Helicopters. The huge aircraft was first flown in service in 2004, having been devised primarily for long-range passenger transport. It is powered by a pair of turboshaft engines developing close to 2,400 hp each, and can reach top speeds of 275 kph (171 mph).

The thing can take off weighing as much as 11,200 kg (24,692 lbs), but we are not being told how much cargo it carried with it for the needs of the Reagan.

The Super Puma was sent over to the Reagan from the USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) ammunition ship, so at least we have an idea of what was moved over to the massive carrier.

Editor's note: Gallery shows the H225M Super Puma variant.


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