Aerial Warfare

Brazilian Army to Upgrade Airbus Helicopters H225M Military Helicopters

Brazilian Army HM-4 Jaguar long-range tactical transport military helicopter
Brazilian Army HM-4 Jaguar long-range tactical transport military helicopter

The Brazilian Army Aviation Command is upgrading four more of its Airbus Helicopters H225M long-range tactical transport military helicopters with new survivability and situational awareness equipment. Six basic configuration helicopters have been upgraded by Helibras and Airbus Helicopters to the current operational standard since 2019. The Saab IDAS-3 integrated electronic warfare suite systems were added as part of the upgrade. The IDAS-3 consists of RWS-300 radar warning receivers, MAW-300 missile approach warning systems, LWS-310 laser warning sensors, two BOP-L chaff and flare dispensers, and the EWC300 controller. Saab’s Integrated Defence Aids Suite (IDAS) is a proven self-protection suite for airborne platforms.

The IDAS system is installed on an aircraft in a way that allows the sensors to detect radar (2.0GHz – 18GHz or 0.5GHz – 40GHz), missile and laser threats from any position relative to the aircraft. IDAS provides radar warning functionality in two optional frequency ranges between 0.5GHz and 40 GHz. Janes reported that also added were Collins Aerospace Talon RT-8200 software-programmable very-high-frequency/ultra-high frequency (VHF/UHF) radios; an air-conditioning system; external side-mounted ballistic armour plating in the cabin; an auxiliary power unit (APU); cabling to installing Teledyne FLIR’s Star SAFIRE III electro-optical payload; jet dilution device (JDD); FAST rope hookup/release bar; and digital moving map software.

Brazilian Army HM-4 Jaguar long-range tactical transport military helicopter
Brazilian Army HM-4 Jaguar long-range tactical transport military helicopter. (Photo by Brazilian Armed Forces)

The Eurocopter EC725 Caracal, now called Airbus Helicopters H225M, is a long-range tactical transport military helicopter developed from the Eurocopter AS532 Cougar for military use. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 28 seated troops along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter is marketed for troop transport, casualty evacuation, and combat search and rescue duties, and is similar to the civilian EC225 Super Puma. The helicopter can be fitted with removable armour plating to protect the troops and is powered by two Turbomeca Makila 1A4 turboshaft engines mounted over the cabin, which feature a dual-channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system.

Brazilian Armed Forces H225M helicopters are assembled at Helibras Itajuba’s plant. With the aim of achieving a significant level of national content Helibras has developed a local supply chain, which currently includes 37 Brazilian companies. Helibras also has a state of the art engineering centre which develops in-country specific mission systems for Brazil’s Armed Forces’ H225M. With these two H225M deliveries, the Brazilian Armed Forces’ fleet totals 28 H225Ms: 12 for the Brazilian Air Force (locally called the H-36 Caracal), 9 for the Brazilian Army (locally called the HM-4 Jaguar) and 7 for the Brazilian Navy (locally called the UH-15 Super Cougar). Deliveries for the remaining helicopters foreseen by the contract – a total of 50 H225M – are expected to be completed by 2022.

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