Eurocopter EC725 Caracal

The Eurocopter EC 725 five bladed version of the Cougar was developed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a specialist helicopter for Combat Search & Rescue operations, and is similar to the civilian EC 225. Introduced in 2005, the EC725 has seen combat service worldwide, including in Afghanistan.

Developing nation:
France.
Manufacturer/designer:
Eurocopter.
Production line:  Marseille-Marignan.
Type aircraft: long-range tactical transport helicopter.
First flight: 27 November 2000.
State: in service.
Primary users: French Air Force, Brasillian Air Force.

An important amount of available qualified mission equipment and installations can be fitted on EC725 to be customized to any specific SAR and CSAR mission requirement. The large cabin volume of the EC725 accommodate any complete suite of Naval mission system, including 2 multifunction workstations, a sonar, a sonobuoy dispenser, leaving sufficient room for additional mission equipment.

Operators

Brazil 

  • Brazilian Air Force – 18.
  • Brazilian Navy – 16.
  • Brazilian Army – 16.

France

  • French Air Force – 6.
  • French Army – 8.

Indonesia

  • Indonesian Air Force – 2.

Saudi Arabia

  • Royal Saudi  Air Force – 11.

Malaysia

  • Royal Malaysian Air Force – 12.

Mexico

  • Mexican  Air Force – 18

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2 (pilot + co-pilot)
  • Capacity: 1 chief of stick + 28 troop seats
  • Length: 19.50 m (63.98 ft)
  • Rotor diameter: 16.20 m (53.14 ft)
  • Height: 4.60 m (15.09 ft)
  • Empty weight: 5,330 kg (11,750 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 11,000 kg (24,250 lb)
  • Useful load: 5,670 kg (12,500 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 11,200 kg (24,700 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2× Turbomeca Makila 1A4 turboshafts, 1,800 kW (2,413 shp) each

Performance

  • Never exceed speed: 324 km/h, 201 mph (175 kts)
  • Maximum speed: 324 km/h, 201 mph (175 kts)
  • Cruise speed: 285 km/h, 177 mph (154 kts)
  • Range: 857 km, 532 mi (463 nm)
  • Service ceiling: 6,095 m (20,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 3.6 m/s (710 ft/min)

The EC 725 can be fitted with the following military equipment and armaments:

  • 2 x 7.62 mm FN MAG machine guns mounted within forward left and right windows.
  • 2 x 68 mm (2.75″) Thales Brandt or Forges Zeebrugge side mounted rocket launchers, each with 19 rockets.
  • 2 x 20 mm pod-mounted GIAT cannons with 180 rounds.
  • Dassault Electronique EWR-99 FRUIT RWR radar warning receiver.
  • Alkan ELIPS multi-purpose chaff/flare dispenser.

All pictures courtesy of Zijde Aviation Photo and Publishing, Rob Vogelaar.