The Brazilian Army Aviation Command (Comando de Aviação do Exército) receives the first two upgraded Eurocopter/Helibras AS565 AA/HM-1 Pantera K2 helicopters this month, Helibras confirmed on 12 March 2014.
The Comando Aviação do Exército will first test these new machines and incorporate its evaluation in the expected order for the modification of the remaining 32 Panthers, as the type is marketed internationally. Target is to keep the army version of the Eurocopter/Airbus Helicopter AS365 Dauphin flying for another 25 years.
Fitted with new Arriel 2C2CGs the Brazilian Army Panteras will have 40 percent more engine power, plus a new tail rotor. Moreover, a so-called glass cockpit will be installed, as well as a 4-axis autopilot. The light attack and scout helicopters crews will get night vision goggles and get better situational awareness from a new weather radar, new navigation and communication gear plus a new altimeter.
The upgraded Pantera K2 will have a top speed of 175 knots (324 kmh) – 25 /46 kmh) more than earlier – and a take-off weight of 9479 lbs (4,300 kg). The chopper can be flown by either a single or two pilots and is able to transport up to 10 troops.