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Brazilian Army eyes new helicopters

The Brazilian Army fields a total of eight HM-3 Cougar and four HM-2 Black Hawk helicopters, but intends to replace them soon. (Brazilian Army)

The Brazilian Army aims to replace the eight HM-3 Cougar and four HM-2 Black Hawk helicopters in service with Army Aviation Command (CAvEx), Army Commander General Tomás Miguel Miné Ribeiro Paiva said on 20 July. The two helicopter types are nearing the end of their operational lifespans.

The requirement documents, the guidelines for project implementation, and other procurement procedures have yet to be written, but Gen Paiva's declaration indicates that they may be expected soon.

The HM-3 Cougar (a local designation for the Airbus Helicopters AS532 UE) is fielded by the 2nd Army Aviation Battalion and the 3rd Army Aviation Battalion located in Taubaté and Campo Grande, respectively. The HM-2 Black Hawk (a local designation for the Sikorsky S-70A) is deployed by the 4th Army Aviation Battalion based in Manaus. Both types are utility helicopters flown on missions such as combat support, troop and cargo transport, medical evacuation, and combat search and rescue.

The Army Strategic Program Army Aviation (Prg EE Av Ex) includes the acquisition of 16 medium tactical helicopters, along with training simulators and logistics support to replace the HM-3 Cougar and HM-2 Black Hawk aircraft.

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