Sikorsky S.76A/AUH-76A
Date Updated: Saturday March 11, 2006


Technical Details | Service History | Current Status | Photos | Fleet Information | Write-Offs
Technical Details 

Beautiful twin-engined multi-role helicopter.  Powered by two Allison 250-C30 650shp turboshafts.  Can carry up to twelve troops plus two crew. Has a maximum range of 370 miles (595 kms) with 10 passengers. 

Like the MG.520s, the S-76s, or correctly, the AUH-76As in the gunship role carried one .50 mg pod on one side and one 2.75 inch pod with seven rockets on the other.  Later, they would carry FN Herstal combination pods with a .50 cal mg and four 2.75 inch rockets on each side (the rockets fitted in a smaller pod beneath the .50 cal gun pod).  For some missions, an additional 7.62mm mg was carried on either side behind each pilot on a swinging pintle mount though this cut back on the useful load and constrained egress from the troop compartment if troops were carried.  One advantage that this configuration has over the MG.520 is that the gunners can cover the rear of the aircraft as it moves out of the target area . 

Paint scheme is usually olive drab with low visibility markings.  SAR machines were all white with a day-glo strip running down from the main rotor and engine comparment and wrapping around.  "Rescue" lettering ran from the top to the bottom on both sides.  VIP machines were all white with sky blue undersides gradually fading to white from the bottom of the machine.

Service History

The S-76 is something of a disappointment in PAF service primarily because it is underpowered and is relatively short-ranged.  It is however valued as a rescue aircraft and for the safety margin that its twin engines give when operating over water.  Seventeen S-76As were acquired and delivered by 1984, with the total initially consisting of 12 AUH-76A gunships, two SAR (equipped with rescue hoists) and three VIP examples.

At the time of its service entry with the PAF in 1984, the type was controversial to say the least.  In the 1980s, the PAF had originally selected the UH-1N to fulfill the gunship/transport requirement but this was abruptly changed to the S-76.  12 were initially assigned to the 20th Air Commando Sq (now 20th Air Assault Sq) of the 15th Strike Wing at Sangley Point (now Danilo Atienza Airbase). Two went to the 505th Air Rescue Squadron (at the time, now a Group) based at Villamor and three went to 700th Special Mission Wing (what is now the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing) also at Villamor

The survivors are now split between the 20th Air Assault Squadron and the 505th Air Rescue Group. 

The type will forever be remembered as the aircraft that helped topple Mr. Marcos from power.

Current Status

4 in use.  17 S-76s were delivered to the PAF. Attrition has been high.  Of the 17, 8 were lost in accidents or during one of the coups, some in a rather spectacular way or controversial or both.  A number have been put in storage awaiting parts or funding for overhauls. Only about 4 are in use, though that number fluctuates.  It is the PAFs stated goal to have at least six S-76s ready at any one time.

 

inventory

supportable

operationally ready

1991 (CY-91)

14

7

4

1992 (CY-92)

14

7

5

1993 (CY-93)

14

6

4

1994 (1st semester CY-94)

14

6

4

2000 (Nov. 2002)

14

6

2

2002 (Speculative)

14

6 (?)

4 (?)

2005 (Speculative)

14

6 (?)

5 (?)

2006 (Speculative)

14

6 (?)

5 (?)

Note: It seems that aircraft were not removed from the inventory as long as the hull was still available, in whatever condition.  It is not unusual for PAF aircraft to undergo overhaul and restoration and returned to service years after it was withdrawn from use.

Photos

Fleet Information

Write-Offs