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FAB and Navy will exchange two H225M helicopters for 27 H125 Esquilo; understand

FAB Squirrel Helicopter
H-50 Esquilo from Esquadrão Gavião firing a .50 machine gun. Photo: Cabo Feitosa/FAB.

An exchange of aircraft will allow the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and the Brazilian Navy (MB) to receive almost thirty helicopters. This is the TH-X program: 12 H125 Esquilo helicopters will be destined for the FAB and another 15 of the same model for the Navy. 

The plan was revealed this Monday (23) by the Air Force Commander, Air Force Lieutenant Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior, during a breakfast in Brasília. 

Squirrel Helicopter Brazilian Navy

UH-12 Squirrel. Photo: Brazilian Navy.

The TH-X is being negotiated with Airbus, the manufacturer of the helicopters. Coordination is carried out by the FAB and resources come from the Ministry of Defense.

The TH-X program is based on a contractual amendment to the HX-BR program for Airbus H225M Caracal helicopters, manufactured in Brazil by Helibras. FAB and MB will give up one unit each of the H225, which will be exchanged for the H125 Esquilo.

Despite the exchange, the Brigadier did not stop talking about the positive characteristics of the H225M, highlighting its participation in humanitarian missions. 

The H-50 Esquilo is used by the FAB to train new helicopter pilots. Photo: FAB.

MB must cancel the purchase of the 5th naval H225M, designated UH-15A Super Cougar, more expensive and complete than the FAB H-36 Caracal. In this way, the Navy receives 15 Esquilo helicopters, while the FAB should receive 12.

The objective of the program is to replace the old H-50 Esquilo of the Air Force and the IH-6B Jet Ranger of the Navy, both used in the training of new helicopter pilots of the respective institutions. The Navy's new H125s will also replace its own older UH-12 Squirrels. 

The Brazilian Army (EB) will also cancel one of its HM-4 Jaguars, but will not receive more Esquilos. In the case of the EB, there will be an extension of the logistical support contract with Airbus Helicopters/Helibras. The EB thus opted to modernize its fleet of HA-1 Esquilo/Fennec AvEx helicopters. 

IH-6B Jet Ranger III. Photo: Brazilian Navy.

This is yet another example of closer relations between the three Armed Forces. The joint base in Belém was recently announced, where H-36, HM-4 and UH-15 helicopters will be operated. This acquisition/exchange carried out by the FAB and the Navy can serve as a basis for a future integrated training center for these forces. 


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Journalism student at UFRGS, spotter and military aviation enthusiast.