Brazil contracts helicopter support

Dec. 23, 2011 at 9:35 AM

BRASILIA, Brazil, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The Brazilian subsidiary of Eurocopter has signed a contract for materials and operational support services for the Brazilian air force.

The work will be provided by Helibras in support of Brazil's fleet of EC-725 multi-role helicopters in a program to keep the aircraft's operational availability rate at more than 80 percent.

The contract is for five years and carries a value of about $80 million.

Under the government's H-XBR program contract, Helibras will be responsible for maintenance of EC-725 airframes and related components.

Brazil is acquiring 50 EC-725 helicopters under the H-XBR program for use in a variety of missions, including combat search and rescue, medical evacuation, special operations and transport.

The aircraft are being produced by Helibras at its facility in Itajuba in the southern state of Minas Gerais.

The EC-720, an 11-ton class of helicopter with a cruise speed of 177 mph, has a range of 532 miles and a ceiling 20,000 feet. It can be outfitted with weaponry – from machine guns and cannon to rockets.

Eurocopter has headquarters in France.

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