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Eurocopter, EC635, Switzerland
The Eurocopter EC635 (now Airbus Helicopters H135M) is a multi-purpose light helicopter developed by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) as a military version of the Eurocopter EC 135. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 8 people, including the pilot, and a range of military equipment or armaments. The helicopter is marketed for troop transport, medical evacuation, cargo transport, reconnaissance and surveillance and armed combat support missions.
The EC635 is based on the Eurocopter EC 135, improving upon the design for military operations and able to carry weapons systems. The helicopter is fitted with a choice of powerplants, depending on customer requirements, and can be powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B2 (EC635 P2+), or two Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 (EC635 T2+). The powerplant is mounted over the baggage compartment and features a Full Authority Digital Engine Control system. The engines power a fibre-reinforced composite Bearingless Main Rotor (BMR) with four blades, and the familiar Fenestron enclosed tail rotor, both of which reduce vibration and noise levels. Vibration levels are further reduced by a built-in Anti Resonance Isolation System (ARIS). The EC635 can be fitted with either a conventional cockpit consisting of a traditional dashboard, or a glass cockpit, which utilizes a Thales ‘Avionique Nouvelle’ suite with MEGHAS Flight Control Display System and active matrix liquid crystal displays.
There are four configurations designed by Eurocopter for the EC635. The Troop Transport version can be fitted with utility seats to carry up to 7 troops with a pilot, or passenger seats to carry up to 6 people and a pilot. The Medical Evacuation version can carry 1 or 2 litters with up to 5 seated medical workers. The Cargo Transport version has 4.9 m³ (173.04 ft³) of space for cargo, while the Armed Mission version is equipped with specialist equipment and weapons for combat (such as 70-mm-rocket launcher FZ233 from Belgian manufacturer Forges de Zeebrugge). The helicopter can also be fitted with a FLIR camera turret, an infra-red capable search light, SAR weather radar and electronic equipment for Observation Missions. Armed EC635s typically feature the Stand Alone Weapon System (SAWS) kit, which comprises a mission and firing control computer onto which various weapon systems and sensors can be integrated; such weapons have included 12.7 mm gun pods, a 20 mm cannon, 70 mm rockets and ZT3 Ingwe anti-tank missiles.
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