Forca Aerea Brasileira, December 17, 2015 - The Brazilian Air Force (FAB, Força Aérea Brasileira) received the first H-36 Caracal ( EC725 / H225M ) helicopter in operational version.
The acquisition is the result of the H-XBR project, which involved the purchase of 50 helicopters for the Brazilian Navy, Army and Air Force. The contract includes the assembly in Brazil by Helibras whose factory is in Itajubá (MG).
With this last delivery of 2015, which in addition to the Brazilian Air Force also included two helicopters to the Brazilian Army, the program has reached 22 helicopters already in service within the 3 armed forces.
The operational version of the FAB, which is already being operated by 1/8 GAV (Esquadrão Falcão) in Belém (PA) brings an unprecedented capability for rotary wing aircraft in Brazil and even unusual on the world stage: H-36 has a in-flight refueling system.
This will allow greater aircraft capabilities because its operation is now only restricted by the crew fatigue. In order to enable this type of maneuver, a KC-130 Hercules tanker is already being adapted to work with the helicopter and performed its first flight in February this year.
The new Caracal helicopter is also equipped with a modern self-defense system or EWS (Electronic Warfare System) capable of detecting incoming missiles and fire chaff and flare in order to "cheat" them and protect the helicopter.