Helibras and Airbus Helicopters presented the first H225M Caracal in naval combat configuration this week in Brazil. Developed and assembled locally by Helibras, Airbus Helicopters’ subsidiary in Brazil, this new H225M version is said to meet requirements of the Brazilian Navy, with mission capabilities including anti-surface warfare and maritime surveillance.
The navalized H225M is built around a Helibras-developed tactical mission system including an APS-143 surveillance radar, advanced self-protection systems as well as signals intelligence capabilities. The helicopter is also equipped with two AM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, while the cargo bay houses a dedicated sensor operator console providing the mission commander with an overview of the tactical situation. An automatic identification system (AIS) will also allow crew members to gather information on surface vessels.
The helicopter unveiled this week in Itajubá will be the first H225M in naval combat version to be delivered to the Brazilian Navy in 2018, after the end of military certification trials. It is part of a global order for 50 H225Ms for the Brazilian armed forces, 26 of which have already been delivered to the Brazilian Air Force, Navy and Army. Helibras is in charge of the complete assembly of H225Ms in Itajubá, including integration of mission equipment, flight line activities and industrial acceptance. With a target to achieve 50% of national content by 2020, Helibras has developed a local supply chain which includes more than 37 Brazilian companies.
The H225M sees more than 500 units delivered worldwide. As of today, 138 H225M Caracal have been ordered by France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Kuwait.
Poland has decided to end negotiations with Airbus Helicopters about the planned purchase of fifty H225M Caracal combat search and rescue helicopters, according to reports on Thursday 4 February. The deal was worth 3 billion USD. Troubles over industrial offsets are likely to have caused to decision. However, there’s no official word yet from Polish MoD.
If true, the news is a blow to Airbus Helicopters but also to the Polish military which desperately seeks replacement of ageing Russian-made Mi-8 Hip helicopters. Poland is now likely to pursue an order for Lockheed Martin – Sikorsky Black Hawks, a version of which was already produced in license in Poland.
In a statement, Airbus Helicopters responds that it is ‘committed to its policy of respecting tender obligations and of developing a large range of investments in Poland. Recent statements issued in the media are leading to speculation and spreading rumors, misleading any debate about the helicopter tenders and industrial development in Poland.’
Warsaw announced the selection of H225M in April 2015 after a lengthy selection proces. Other contenders were the AgustaWestland AW149 and Sikorsky’s S-70 Black Hawk. The latter will likely fly in Polish military service in the future.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
The Royal Thai Air Force has taken delivery of an initial four Airbus Helicopters H225 Caracal medium heavy helicopters. The choppers will serve Thailand in the (combat) search and rescue (CSAR/SAR) and troop transport role.
The order for four Caracals was signed in 2012. Two additional helos were booked in 2014 for delivery to the Royal Thai Air Force next year. Operations with the first four now delivered, are expected to begin later this month.
The EC725 is an 11-ton twin-engine helicopter featuring room for 28 persons plus high-performance navigation and mission systems. In Asia, Thailand joins Indonesia and Malaysia in operating the type.
Source: Airbus Helicopters
Featured image: Two Caracals seen during training in France. (Image © Anthony Pecchi / Airbus Helicopters)
Airbus Helicopters is doing nicely with its H225M (formerly EC725) Caracal helicopters. Kuwait is about to sign a contract for 24 Caracals, sources in Paris reported on 10 June. Let’s not be surprised when the signatures appear during next week’s Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.
The contract should be worth 1 billion EUR. Kuwait appears to be in a shopping spree, since the country is reportedly also looking at the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon, although the chances of both appearing in Kuwait Air Force colours are virtually non-existent.
Meanwhile, France’s export of airborne military hardware is doing well, with Poland having selected the Caracal recently and Mexico eyeing more, not to mention the sale of Dassault rafales to Egypt, Qatar and India.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): A Malaysian Caracal. (Image © Anthony Pecchi, Airbus Helicopters)
Mexico is in talks with Airbus Helicopters on buying 50 more H225M (formerly EC725) helicopters, specialized for Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) operations. Mexico already operates 11 Caracals out of 12 ordered earlier. One was reportedly shot down earlier this year in an incident related to Mexico’s drug wars.
The likely deal is worth over 2 billion USD, with a contract to be signed in July in Paris. The Caracal is a money maker for Airbus Helicopters. Poland recently selected the chopper as a future airborne asset. Other Caracal clients are France, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): An Airbus Helicopters’ shot of the H225M. (Image © Anthony Pecchi / Airbus Helicopters)