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Eurocopter's Helibras to upgrade Brazilian Panthers

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The AS365K Panther helicopter.

MARIGNANE, FRANCE (BNS): Eurocopterís subsidiary Helibras has signed a contract with Brazilian Army to upgrade its AS365K Panther helicopters to enhance their lifespan by another 25 years.

As per the contract, Helibras (Helicůpteros do Brasil SA) will modernise 34 Panthers. The project would include equipping the medium-weight, multipurpose twin-engine military choppers with new, more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2C2 CG engines.

The helicoptersí cockpits will be fitted with new digital radio communication systems, Proline 21, and full Glass cockpit with various enlarged last state-of-art displays for primary flight, navigation, tactical and other information, Eurocopter said.

Helibras aims to upgrade four Panthers every year with deliveries expected to start between 2011 and 2021.

Brazil had bought the Panther fleet of helicopters in 1988 for its army to carry troops and use as a light support platform.

The military variant of Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin, the Panther helicopter is designed to perform several military tasks, including combat assault, fire support, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and search & rescue operations.

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