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Brazilian Army approves more helicopter upgrades

The Brazilian Army formally approved a plan to further upgrade its Fennec AvEx and AS365K2 Super Pantera helicopters on 30 July. The work will increase the types' attack, combat, target acquisition, escort, protection, surveillance, command-and-control, electronic warfare, fire-support, and reconnaissance capabilities.

A tender for the upgrade will be issued following the completion of a viability study and the concept formulation phase.

The project, known as the ‘Sistema de Armamento Axial e Imageamento para Helicópteros' (SiAAIH) programme, seeks to acquire 12 and eight modular armament and imaging and sighting kits for the Fennec AvEx and AS365K2 Super Pantera helicopters respectively.

All the Fennec AvEx and Super Pantera helicopters in the inventory will be equipped with provision for the SiAAIH fit, a source at the Army Aviation Command told Janes .

The operational, technological, logistical, and industrial requirements for the SiAAIH programme were formally approved in 2019.

Each SiAAIH kit will comprise an armament subsystem featuring a 7.62×51 mm rotary machine gun, a launcher for 70 mm unguided and guided rockets, air-to-ground missiles, a weapon pod for a 12.7×99 mm machine gun, weapon wings and pylons, and a weapon management unit; a data and image acquisition and processing subsystem with helmet-mounted display (HMD), a rangefinder with a 10 km range, an image recorder, night vision equipment, image disseminating equipment, a laser pointer and electro-optical/infrared system with associated displays; a truck-mounted data and image receiving subsystem consisting of a shelter equipped with rugged computer, network interface, transceivers and a telescopic mast with antenna; and a simulation subsystem consisting of flight training systems, a recording system for debriefing, dummy weapons, and a performance analysis system.

A Brazilian Fennec AvEx helicopter of the 1st Army Aviation Battalion equipped with an HMP250 pod armed with an M3P gun and the LM70/7 rocket launcher. (Victor Barreira)

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