Brazilian supply chain expands for EC725s to be built in-country by Eurocopter's Helibras subsidiary for the Brazilian armed forces
During the inauguration of the new production facility in Minas Gerais, Eurocopter’s Helibras subsidiary signed yesterday a contract with Brazil’s InbraAerospace to supply composite armor protection on the Brazilian armed forces’ multi-role EC725 helicopters to be assembled in the new plant.
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.
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Source : Eurocopter, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)