The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and Helibras jointly performed something that can be best described as a pre-mid-term operational evaluation of the new Helibras / Airbus Helicopters EC725 Caracal long-range tactical transport helicopter, dubbed H-36 in FAB service.
Combined 22 people used one of the new machines to subject it to special operational conditions in the Amazon region, performing 14 flights in December, the Força Aérea Brasileira confirmed on 4 February 2015.
During the test flights, the H-36 was equipped with side machine guns, a winch to simulate rescue on land and at sea and a hook for conducting external load and rope for landing troops. Live fire exercises with side-mounted 7.62 mm machine guns was evaluated on the Brigadeiro Velloso range in the Cachimbo mountains in the Pará region of Northern Brazil.
The Brazilian Air Force, Army and Navy are purchasing 50 Caracals, of which 15 have been delivered so far. The H-36s are equipped with night vision systems, ballistic protection, a dual winch for external loads, a rappelling system, fast roping possibilities to aid in troop incursions and extractions, a secure communications and navigation system, plus a four axes auto-pilot. So far the 15 EC725s delivered have made 6,200 flight hours.
Source: Força Aérea Brasileira / Helibras
Featured image: An Brazilian Army version of the H-36 (EC725) Caracal (Image © Felipe Christ / Helibras)