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Brazilian military acquires new H125 training helicopters

A Brazilian Army AS 350 helicopter being maintained at Helibras' facility in Itajubá. The latest H125 variant of the light helicopter is to be built at the same facility for the army and navy training fleets. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The Brazilian military is bolstering its training helicopter fleet, with Airbus announcing the procurement of 27 H125 airframes for the army and navy.

Announced on 16 September, the contract placed via the Combat Aircraft Programme Coordinating Committee (COPAC) will see new H125s acquired to replace ageing Eurocopter AS 350 Esquilo (the previous company name and aircraft designation/name for older model H125s) and Bell 206 JetRanger helicopters.

“This joint procurement contract represents the realisation of a project that will equip both the Brazilian Air Force and [Brazilian] Navy with modern aircraft that will meet the needs of the forces for the next 30 years,” Commander of the Air Force, Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Júnior, was quoted as saying.

As noted by Airbus, the new H125s will feature a Garmin G500H TXi ‘glass' cockpit, and will be compatible with the use of night-vision goggles. “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 company said.

Production will take place on Helibras' existing final assembly line in Itajubá. Airbus did not disclose a contract value or delivery date.

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