Posted by John McHaleBRASILIA, Brazil, 30 Dec. 2010. Eurocopter's Helicopteros do Brasil (Helibras) subsidiary today delivered the initial three EC725 military helicopters for Brazil's armed forces as part of a program to supply 50 of these medium-sized, multi-role helicopters -- which will lead to in-country production of the rotary-wing aircraft.These first three helicopters were provided in a standard configuration and will undergo final outfitting in Brazil. Eurocopter and Helibras pilots and technicians performed delivery flight tests, which were followed by acceptance evaluations carried out by Brazilian Armed Forces representatives -- whose personnel have been in training since May to operate and maintain the EC725s.The EC725 being acquired by the Brazilian Armed Forces is the latest version of Eurocopter's Super Puma/Cougar family. This 11-metric-ton medium twin-engine helicopter is equipped with a five-blade rotor and a large capacity fuel tank, providing enhanced performance and longer flight endurance. It was designed to perform multiple missions, such as combat search and rescue, long-distance tactical airlift, air ambulance transport, logistics support, and naval missions.While these helicopters were built by Eurocopter in France and finalized in Helibras, Brazilian assembly of EC725 will begin in 2012 at Helibras' new production facility in Itajuba. Their Brazilian-supplied content will increase to a minimum of 50 per cent through 2016, when the final EC725s from the 50-aircraft order are delivered.Taking into account the anticipated growth in manufacturing and maintenance activities for military and civilian aircraft at Helibras, the company’s employee count is forecasted to reach 1,000 in three years. This planned growth includes the eventual production of the EC725 helicopter's civilian EC225 version, which already is in service with Brazil’s oil sector.For the Brazilian armed forces' 50-helicopter contract, a team representing the country's army, navy, and air force is now present at Helibras' facility in Itajuba. Called the Group of Monitoring and Control (GAC), it oversees all topics related to the new EC725s, and will be composed of 16 members at the peak of in-country manufacturing for the helicopters. Its responsibilities range from quality control and material inspection to the delivery reception of the EC725s.The first contracts have been signed with suppliers in the country. The initial companies committed to provide parts for the Brazilian EC725s are InbraAerospace, a manufacturer of composite components and Toyo Matic, which produces machining parts for the aeronautical industry.Inbra will supply composite tail boom fairings as well as intermediary structures in composites. Toyo Matic will machine the main rotor hub sleeve -- a complex part that will be produced using 4- and 5-axis machines.