Continued delivery of the H225M for the Brazilian armed forces despite announcement of 2 year delay

Iñigo Guevara

The Brazilian armed forces have taken delivery of the 16th Helibras H225M (formerly known as the EC725) out from an outstanding order for 50 under the Ministry of Defence-run Project H-XBR. The helicopter was produced at the Itajubá assembly line of the Airbus Helicopter’s Brazilian subsidiary.

Local industry participation has been growing and so far several companies are providing sections or components for the H225M. These include Aernnova, which produces the metallic structure fir the tail boom, Inbra does the composite structure for the intermediate section and tail boom, Toymatic produces the main rotor sleeves, Turbomeca do Brasil assembles the Makila 2A1 engines, and Elbit’s Brazilian subsidiary Aeroeletronica (AEL) provides the avionics.

The sixteenth example is a tactical transport and search and rescue (SAR) version for the Brazilian Navy, making this the fifth H225M delivered to that service.

Other operators include the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and Army Aviation Command. Each service will receive 16 helicopters for a variety of operational roles plus two VIP versions that will be used for the Presidential Transport Flight.

The seventeenth helicopter is scheduled for delivery in 2015 and is a specialized combat search and rescue (CSAR) variant. That helicopter was presented at the 2015 Paris Air Show and is locally designated as the H-36 Caracal by the FAB.

The FAB will take delivery of the airborne refueling prove-equipped H-36 Caracal for which its pilots have been undertaking flight refueling training on F-5FM and A-1B fighters. The CSAR Caracal will be able to refuel from the current two KC-130H in service, as well as from the 28 future KC-390’s.

The FAB will receive eight CSAR versions in total, which will also be equipped with an integrated self-defence suite including laser warning systems (LWS) and radar warning receivers (RWR). Specific CSAR training will begin on June 29 through July 3 at the Campo Grande Air Base and will include H-34 Super Puma, H-36 Caracal, H-60 Black Hawk, AH-2 Sabre (Mi-35M) and H-1H (UH-1H) aircrews using night vision goggles.

Deliveries were originally to have ended by 2017 although they will now stretch to 2019 given the current state of Brazil’s financial difficulties. Following the CSAR on the delivery schedule will be the anti-surface warfare (ASuW) version for the Navy, which is still under development at Helibras. Eight will be delivered to that standard.


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