Brazil’s navy has received the first Airbus Helicopters EC725 to be completely assembled in-country – a major milestone as the manufacturer looks to raise domestic content on the programme.
The nation had previously received 11 aircraft from its tri-service order of 50 helicopters, with the early examples supplied from the airframer’s Marignane, France facility or partially assembled by Helibras, its Brazilian subsidiary.
However, the latest EC725 to be handed over was completely assembled at Helibras’s Itajuba facility, which included the integration of mission equipment.
This was the third delivery for the navy, with the army and air force having received four and five helicopters, respectively. So far the rotorcraft have logged a combined 5,000 flight hours.
“The delivery is another key achievement in a programme that remains on schedule and within the contractual budget, underscoring the dedication of all partners to its success,” says Airbus Helicopters chief executive Guillaume Faury. “It also highlights our long-term commitment to dual goal of enhancing Brazil’s heli-lift capabilities while developing a world-class rotorcraft industry in the country.”
Airbus Helicopters has invested €160 million ($218 million) in the Itajuba factory, including the addition of engineering capabilities. The increased indigenisation of the programme will see the domestic content on the EC725s eventually rise to 50%.