Israeli and Chilean companies combine to offer cockpit upgrades and promote UAV

Enaer has broadened its long-standing relationship with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and will market jointly to Latin American nations an avionics upgrade for the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules.

The two are also teaming to equip the Enaer T-35DT Turbo Pillan and Bell 412 with an electro-optic (EO) system and to locally promote the IAI Searcher II unmanned air vehicle.

The Chilean company has just delivered the first of two modernised C-130Bs to the Uruguayan air force and is also hoping to upgrade the Chilean air force's five Hercules. "The Chilean air force has a requirement to upgrade its transports and we have already upgraded a [de Havilland] Twin Otter with the new cockpit for them to evaluate," says Brig Gen Alfredo Guzman Matuis, Enaer executive director.

The modernised C-130 cockpit is global air traffic management compliant and features up to four 150 x 200mm (6 x 8in) multifunction displays integrating navigation, communications and engine data, two new flight management systems and the option of a head-up display. The first modified C-130B for Uruguay flew in January and will be joined shortly by a second.

IAI and Enaer have also teamed to market an upgrade for the Bell 412 helicopter, including a night vision goggles compatible cockpit and chin-mounted HMOSP (helicopter multimission optronic stabilised payload) EO turret incorporating forward looking infrared,a daylight camera and laser targeting system, from the IAI's Tamam division.

There is an alternative option to equip the helicopter with the lighter weight Tamam POP (plug-in optronic payload) FLIR turret. Enaer has modified one of the Chilean air force's four recently acquired 412s as a demonstrator.

An underwing pod-mounted version of POP is also being offered on the T-35DT, as is the competing FLIR Systems 7500, as a low-cost solution for reconnaissance and surveillance. "We're offering it to Central American countries for border patrol and anti-narcotics missions," says Guzman, who adds that the aircraft would cost $1.3 million.

A Rolls Royce 250-B17 turboprop-powered Pillan has been flying for a number of years without securing an order. Enaer is also looking for a launch order for a newly unveiled glass cockpit variant equipped with a 200 x 250mm ARNAV ICDS 2000 display.

Enaer recently restarted production of the T-35 with an Ecuadorian navy order for four aircraft equipped with the standard "Millennium" cockpit. It has also delivered two reconditioned T-35 Pillan trainers to Panama.

EuroEnaer is seeking financial backing to begin production of the Eaglet two-seat composite light aircraft in Europe, following the recent Joint Aviation Authorities certification. The Chilean company has been partnered with the University of Delft in the Netherlands for several years. Enaer, which is a 20% shareholder in EuroEnaer, plans to ship Eaglet airframe structures to the Netherlands for completion, but says additional financing is needed first.

Source: Flight International