Helibras, Eurocopter's Brazilian subsidiary, has clinched a contract to upgrade 34 AS365K Panther transport helicopters for the Brazilian army.

To extend the life of the current fleet by at least 25 years, the modernisation programme will include the integration of Turbomeca's Arriel 2C2 CG engine, which will deliver a 15% increase in power, plus Rockwell Collins' Proline 21 avionics and a digital radio communication system. This will "significantly reduce the pilot workload", according to Eurocopter.

 AS365 Panther Brazil - Eurocopter
© Eurocopter
Upgraded AS365s will be delivered from 2011

Four aircraft will be upgraded per year at the Helibras Engineering Centre under the terms of the company's 24 December contract, and deliveries are to run between 2011 and 2021.

The Brazilian army received its first Panther helicopters in 1988. The service also operates Eurocopter's AS350, AS532 and AS550 models, and will also field the company's EC725 under a tri-service order for 50 of the type.

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Source: FlightGlobal.com