The Brazilian armed forces, through the Combat Aircraft Programme Coordinating Committee (COPAC), have acquired 27 single engine H125 helicopters to boost the training capacity of the Brazilian Navy and the Air Force. The H125 will be produced in the H125 final assembly line located in Itajubá, Brazil at Helibras’ factory where the H225Ms for the Brazilian armed forces are also assembled. These new helicopters will replace the ageing AS350 and Bell 206 helicopters currently in service with the Brazilian Air Force and the Brazilian Navy respectively. The new H125 helicopters will have a G500H TXi double glass cockpit and VEMD (Vehicle & Engine Multifunction Display) and will be compatible with the use of night vision goggles (NVG). They will also include different types of mission equipment such as a winch and a hook so that the training of future pilots is as representative of their missions as possible.
“Airbus Helicopters is proud to see the H125 supporting the training of the next generation of pilots of the Brazilian armed forces. The H125 is a versatile helicopter used widely in both the civil and military markets as a training platform thanks to its ruggedness, reliability, and easy maintenance. We are honored by the continued confidence of the Brazilian armed forces after more than 40 years of cooperation,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters.
“This joint procurement contract represents the realisation of a project that will equip both the Brazilian Air Force and Navy with modern aircraft that will meet the needs of the Forces for the next 30 years” said Commander of the Air Force, Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior.
The AS350 Écureuil (or Squirrel), now Airbus Helicopters H125, is a single-engine light utility helicopter originally designed and manufactured in France by Aérospatiale and Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters). In North America, the AS350 is marketed as the AStar. The AS355 Ecureuil 2 is a twin-engine variant, marketed in North America as the TwinStar. The Eurocopter EC130 is a derivative of the AS350 airframe and is considered by the manufacturer to be part of the Écureuil single-engine family. The AS350 was also developed to comply with the noise requirements in place in locations such as national parks; the in-cabin noise levels are such that passengers may also readily converse during flight. The aircraft can also be quickly started up and shut down, which is often useful during emergency medical services roles. It is equipped with hydraulically-assisted flight controls; these controls remain operational, albeit operated with greater physical effort, in the event of a hydraulic failure.
The new H125 helicopters will have a G500H TXi double glass cockpit and VEMD (Vehicle & Engine Multifunction Display) and will be compatible with the use of night vision goggles (NVG). They will also include different types of mission equipment such as a winch and a hook so that the training of future pilots is as representative of their missions as possible. The Brazilian armed forces currently operate a total of 156 Airbus helicopters deployed from its eight bases across the country. Its fleet ranges from the light single engine Ecureuil family to the multi-purpose heavy H225M helicopter, 67 and 41 helicopters respectively, to cover a wide array of missions such as tactical transport, search and rescue missions, and civil population support. Helibras or Helicópteros do Brasil S.A. (Helicopters of Brazil, Inc.) is a Brazil-based helicopter manufacturer which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters, a division of Airbus. Helibras has produced and delivered more than 700 helicopters, 70% of which being the Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil (know in Portuguese as Esquilos).