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EC 725 Caracal
A French Air Force EC 725R2 Caracal in 2009
Role Tactical Transport helicopter
Manufacturer Eurocopter Group
First flight 27 November 2000
Introduction February 2005
Status Active service
Primary user Brazilian Armed Forces
French Armed Forces
Mexican Air Force
Royal Malaysian Air Force
Unit cost
US$45-55 million[1]
Developed from Eurocopter AS 532
Variants Eurocopter EC225

The Eurocopter EC 725 Caracal (also named Super Cougar) is a long-range tactical transport helicopter developed from the Super Puma/Cougar family for military use. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 29 seated troops along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter is marketed for troop transport, casualty evacuation, and combat search and rescue duties, and is similar to the civilian EC 225.


The EC 725 was developed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a specialist helicopter for Combat Search & Rescue operations after the AS 532 A2 Cougar model was rejected for this purpose following extensive trials between 1996 and 1999. The more ambitious EC 725 design made its maiden flight at Marignane on the 27 November 2000 and the machine made its first presentation on the 15 January 2001. The French Air Force subsequently ordered 6 for Combat Search & Rescue duties with the first being delivered in February 2005. Eight more helicopters were ordered for the French Armed Forces in November 2002.[2] Indonesian Aerospace (PT. Dirgantara Indonesia/PTDI) also takes part in the development of EC 725. Based on the original design and license from Eurocopter, Indonesian Aerospace is currently developing 6 units for Indonesian Armed Forces which are scheduled to be delivered in 2014.


Eurocopter EC-725 Cougar MkII

An EC 725 Super Cougar MkII+ at Paris Air Show 2007 (French Armée de l'Air)

Paris Air Show 2007-06-24 n24

A FN MAG mounted on an EC-725 Super Cougar MkII

The EC 725 is based on the Eurocopter AS 532 Cougar, improving upon the design with a five-blade composite main rotor incorporating a new airfoil shape to reduce vibration levels. The helicopter can be fitted with removable armour plating to protect the troops and is powered by two Turbomeca Makila 1A4 turboshaft engines mounted over the cabin, which feature a dual-channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system. They can be fitted with an anti-icing system to enable the aircraft to operate in very cold climates. Other improvements include a reinforced main rotor gearbox and an all glass cockpit. The cockpit is equipped with an integrated display system featuring a digital map and Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays.

The helicopter has day and night time search and rescue capabilities by way of a search radar and Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR).

There are currently four configurations designed by Eurocopter for the EC 725. The Troop Transport version has seating arrangements for a maximum of 29 troops in addition to the crew. The VIP Transport version can carry between 8 to 12 passengers. The Casualty Evacuation version can carry up to 12 stretchers with four seated medical staff, and the Combat SAR configuration is fully equipped for search and rescue duties in a combat environment.

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

  • 2 × 7.62 mm FN MAG machine guns mounted within forward left and right windows.
  • 2 × 68 mm (2.75") Thales Brandt or Forges Zeebrugge side mounted rocket launchers, each with 19 rockets.
  • 2 × 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.

Operational history[]

File:1ri quelque part en afghanistan.jpg

EC 725 helicopter in Afghanistan

The French Air Force helicopters were quickly put into active service with three EC 725 helicopters being used to evacuate people from Lebanon during Opération Baliste in the summer of 2006. As of 2007, three French Air Force helicopters have been deployed to the war in Afghanistan to support the coalition forces in the capital city of Kabul.

The Brazilian Government has announced that the Helibras factory in Itajubá, Minas Gerais, will produce, initially, 50 units of the Caracal (EC 725).[3] Three helicopters were test-flown in December 2010 and are already in service in the military forces. Helibras plans to begin assembling the other helicopters in 2012.[4]


Eurocopter EC 725 Operators

Eurocopter EC 725 Operators

Eurocopter EC-725 Cougar MkII and Eiffel Tower

French Air Force EC 725 Super Cougar MkII over Paris

Flag of Brazil Brazil
Flag of France France
Flag of Indonesia Indonesia
Flag of Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
Flag of Malaysia Malaysia
Flag of Mexico Mexico
Flag of Thailand Thailand

Specifications (EC 725 Caracal)[]

EC 725 Line Drawing
Paris Air Show 2007-06-24 n23

Close-up of the rotor hub on an EC 725 Super Cougar MkII

Data from {}[8]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2 (pilot + co-pilot)
  • Capacity: 1 chief of stick + 28 troops or 5,670 kilograms (12,500 lb) payload
  • Length: 19.5 m (64 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in)
  • Empty weight: 5,330 kg (11,751 lb)
  • Gross weight: 11,000 kg (24,251 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 11,200 kg (24,692 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Turboméca Makila 2A1 turboshaft engines, 1,776 kW (2,382 hp) each
  • Main rotor diameter: 16.20 m (53 ft 2 in)
  • Main rotor area: 206.1 m2 (2,218 sq ft)


  • Maximum speed: 324 km/h (201 mph; 175 kn) in level flight
  • Cruising speed: 285 km/h (177 mph; 154 kn)
  • Never exceed speed: 324 km/h (201 mph; 175 kn)
  • Range: 857 km (533 mi; 463 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 1,325 km (823 mi; 715 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,095 m (19,997 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 7.4 m/s (1,460 ft/min)

See also[]


  2. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "EC 725 Cougar Medium Multimission Helicopter". Retrieved 26-September-2013. 
  3. Farias, Ivy (September 8, 2008). "Brasil produzirá em Minas Gerais helicópteros para as Forças Armadas". Agência Brasil.  Retrieved on July 11, 2009.
  4. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Brazil’s armed forces test-fly EC725". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (2013). "World Air Forces 2013". Flightglobal Insight. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  6. [1]
  7. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Kazakhstan orders 20 Eurocopter EC725s". Retrieved 12-March-2013. 
  8. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Eurocopter Cougar EC 725 Technical Data" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 

External links[]

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