May 17, 2003
The Romanian Aviation Company (IAR) is supplying the Ivory Coast with four IAR 330 Puma helicopters built under Eurocopter license for $12 million. Two were transported to the Ivory Coast via an Antonov 22 cargo plane and the other two will be delivered by year's end. All four were upgraded with the SOCAT [Romanian acronym for Anti-Tank Optronic Search and Combat] navigation system.
However, one was made especially for presidential use, with 10 leather upholstered seats, an air conditioning equipment specially designed for the African climate. The president's armchair can to turned it into a bed and a hi-fi sound system, toilet, refrigerator and bar were also added. - Adam Geibel