The Helicópteros do Brasil (Helibras) subsidiary of Eurocopter has been awarded a contract to modernise the Brazilian Army‘s fleet of 36 AS350 Ecureuil helicopters.

The modernisation includes the rebuilding of three aircraft, installation of a glass cockpit with three large liquid crystal displays and integration of an automatic flight control system (AFCS) with autopilot.

Eurocopter’s single-engine multipurpose AS350 helicopter has been in service with the Brazilian Army Aviation Command for more than two decades.

The upgrades will begin during 2011 to ensure continuous operation of the helicopters for at least 25 additional years, and is expected to be completed in 2018.

Work will be carried out at the company’s facilities in Itajubá, in the south-eastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.