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Brazilian Army details H225M upgrade

More than half of the HM-4 Jaguar fleet will include new hardware designed to enhance combat capability. (Victor Manuel Saraiva Barreira)

The Brazilian Army is upgrading four more of its Airbus Helicopters H225M (locally called the HM-4 Jaguar) tactical multi-purpose helicopters with new survivability and situational awareness equipment.

The Brazilian Army Aviation Command is scheduled to complete the upgrade of 10 of its HM-4 Jaguar aircraft in 2024, the army's spokesperson told Janes. Six basic configuration helicopters have been upgraded by Helibras and Airbus Helicopters to the current operational standard since 2019, the service added.

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.

Also added were Collins Aerospace Talon RT-8200 software-programmable very-high-frequency/ultra-high frequency (VHF/UHF) radios that can operate via frequency-hopping waveforms. Other new equipment includes: 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.

The army has received 14 HM-4 helicopters since November 2011. The 15th and final helicopter will be received in 2026, the army told Janes.

The Brazilian Air Force originally ordered 16 H225Ms for the army as part of the HX-BR project. However, the final aircraft was cancelled. The HM-4 Jaguar is fielded by the 1st Army Aviation Battalion of Taubaté, the 4th Army Aviation Battalion of Manaus, and the Army Aviation Detachment of Belém in troop and cargo transport, medical evacuation (medevac), assault, search-and-rescue (SAR), and combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) roles.

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