The Caracal helicopter, ready for foreign missions

Yesterday, the new Euroflir 350 optronic observation system by Sagem (Safran group) was selected for the EC725 Caracal (French for “desert lynx”) helicopters deployed by French armed forces.

The Euroflir 350 system will be fitted to EC725s already in service and on order. "It adds considerable value to the machine," says a flight engineer. "Today, we only have a thermal imaging channel. By adding the daytime capability of this optical sensor we can increase identification accuracy and generate more reliable information."

The EC725 Caracal carries out a wide range of missions, including transport, medical evacuation, combat search & rescue and intelligence. Safran was already involved, particularly as supplier of the twin Makila 2A engines made by Group company Turbomeca.

The Caracal is deployed in Afghanistan, where the dusty conditions are a challenge. But to date no engines have had to be replaced ahead of schedule, a clear indication of their sterling performance in the field.

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