Airbus Helicopters, September 15, 2014 - Helibras’ contract to modernize 34 AS365 K Panther helicopters for the Brazilian Army Aviation (AvEx) to the K2 version, known as the Super Panther, reached an important milestone in August following the successful completion of the first technical-operational evaluation.
The first upgraded machine demonstrated 98% availability in the evaluation phase, during which the aircraft performed around 150 different missions and flew 220 flight hours in 12 Brazilian cities.
"These test flights allowed the Brazilian Army to prove the operational gains of the K2 helicopter compared to the previous version, such as reduced pilot workload, reduced transfer time, greater autonomy and increased safety for crews," said Marco Wagner, manager of the Panther modernization program at Helibras.
The modernization program will continue according to schedule as the test results showed the Super Panther to meet all of the contract’s requirements.
The upgrade program will be completed by 2021, with two helicopters being delivered this year, four helicopters in 2015, and then six per year until all 34 are finished.
The K2 version features more powerful engines, new avionics and radio-communication systems, and night vision technology.
The aircraft is the first helicopter fully certified in Brazil by the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA) of the Institute of Industrial Promotion and Coordination (IFI).
The modifications made to the Panther’s design were performed by Brazilian engineers, and most of the new equipment and systems were supplied by Brazilian companies.