Forca Aérea Brasileira has finalised its flight test campaign to certify the Caracal helicopters for refuelling operations.
Caracal helicopter and KC-130 tanker.
The Aeroba Brasileira Force has completed its flight test campaign on the Caracal helicopter, the aim of which was to certify the aircraft for in-flight refuelling. This last phase concluded on 30 October and was conducted around Rio de Janeiro. It involved three Caracal helicopters and a KC-130 Hercules aircraft carrying the fuel. In total, more than 160 contacts were made between the tanker and the rotary wing, through the Caracal's boom and the KC-130's basket.
The aim of this final campaign was to certify the Caracal de la Forca Aérea Brasileira (FAB) for in-flight refuelling and to validate the procedure for the simultaneous refuelling of two helicopters on KC-130s. This has now been done and Brazil is pleased to be the first South American country to have this capability. The FAB also welcomed the successful conclusion of this campaign, which opens up new operational prospects for Brazilian aircraft. The Caracal H-36 can be used for combat search and rescue, sea rescue, humanitarian aid and personnel transport missions.
In addition to the certification of the Caracal on KC-130s, this campaign was aimed at preparing the tests that will be conducted in 2021 between the helicopter and the KC-390 Millennium, also for in-flight refuelling.
Tests with the KC-130 began in 2018, when the first dry contacts were made.