Brazilian supply chain expands for EC725s to be built in-country by Eurocopter's Helibras subsidiary for the Brazilian armed forces
This new agreement brings to 15 the number of supplier contracts already placed for Brazilian-made content on the EC725s, which are to be operated in missions that include combat search and rescue, long-range tactical transport, aeromedical transport, logistic support and naval duties.
InbraAerospace was selected to provide the EC725 composite armor after a rigorous international competition - reinforcing this company's role as a Eurocopter subcontractor.
"This new selection builds on our relationship with InbraAerospace which already produces armor for Ecureuil helicopters," said Helibras Vice President Eduardo Mauad, who is responsible for industrial cooperation. "It also opens future business opportunities for Inbra with Helibras and its Eurocopter parent company."
InbraAerospace was created in 2002 to develop the manufacture of aeronautical composites in Brazilian and international markets. It is a unit of Grupo Inbrafiltro, and currently employs 120 persons.
"This partnership is an exceptional opportunity to further evolve our aerospace market presence," said Jairo Candido, the President of InbraAerospace. "It includes technology transfer from Eurocopter to InbraAerospace, which is aligned with the contractual goals established for Brazil's acquisition of the EC725s."
Other Helibras contracts with EC725 suppliers in Brazil include Toyo Matic Aerospace, which already has produced the first "made in Brazil" rotor head sleeves to be used on the helicopters; Aernnova do Brasil for metal tailbooms; Turbomeca do Brasil for the supply of engines; Sagem/TM for autopilot systems; Rohde & Schwarz do Brasil for radios; AEL Aeroeletrônica, to supply cockpit instrumentation; Microturbo/TM for auxiliary power units; SDV Brasil for logistics; AKAER for engineering services; and manufacturing tooling suppliers RCS, GNS, UNISTIL, MASTER, ITAKAR and IFAM.
Helibras is to provide a total of 50 EC725s to Brazil's three armed forces in a €1.8 billion acquisition signed by the Brazilian Defense Ministry in 2008. As part of the agreement, these helicopters are to progressively include 50 percent Brazilian-made content.
A state-of-the-art assembly facility created by Helibras at Itajubá will produce the EC725s, along with EC225 civilian versions for the regional marketplace.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 20,000 people. In 2011, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's number one helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 5.4 billion Euros, orders for 457 new helicopters and a 43 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group's helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter's strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries. Eurocopter's worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports some 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,300 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 149 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business.