The Brazilian Air Force and the Brazilian Navy have officially acquired 27 H125 helicopters from Airbus. The aircraft will be assembled by the subsidiary Helibrás in Brazil and will replace the AS350 (H-50) and Bell 206 models.
Of the 27 helicopters, 15 will be delivered to the FAB and 12 to the Navy, but Airbus did not detail deadlines. To make the acquisition viable, the military decided to reduce an original order for the H225 helicopter.
“This joint procurement contract represents the realization 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 new H125 helicopters are equipped with a G500H TXi and VEMD “glass cockpit” and will be compatible with the use of Night Vision Goggles (NVG).
The Brazilian armed forces (also including the Army) currently operate 156 Airbus helicopters. The first military model was acquired by the Navy in the late 1970s, to which 12 other helicopters were added.
The Navy also operates the twin-engine version, known as Ecureuil. They were ordered in the 1980s, when the Air Force also started to operate the helicopter, designated as the H-50.
Earlier, the Army placed its first order for helicopters after regaining the right to operate rotary-wing aircraft. In 1986, the force acquired one- and two-engine models in addition to other aircraft from the same manufacturer.