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