PICTURE: Brazil’s armed forces test-fly EC725

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A Brazilian armed forces test crew has flown the first three of 50 ordered Eurocopter EC725 helicopters.

Delivered in standard configuration to Eurocopter's Brazilian subsidiary Helibras on 20 December, the multi-role aircraft will undergo final outfitting there ahead of entering service with the country's army, navy and air force.

The EC725s are due to be deployed in combat search and rescue, long-distance tactical airlift, air ambulance transport, logistics support and naval missions, Eurocopter says. The custom equipment for the 11t twin-engined helicopter includes a large-capacity fuel tank.

 
© Eurocopter

Helibras is to begin EC725 final assembly in 2012 and deliver at least 25 of the aircraft by 2016.