Air International 2008-09
H.-P.Grolleau - EC725. Son of Cougar /Military/
An EC725 in the marking of the Centre d'Experiences Aeriennes Militaires, the French Air Force Operational Evaluation Centre. This aircraft transferred to EH1/67 in 2006. Note the Thales Chlio ST FLIR turret mounted under the nose. The Chlio is used on a wide variety of French helicopters, including the Fennec and the Puma.
Standard armament is the MAG 58 7.62mm machine-gun for Caracals. The one shown lacks the holographic sight now adopted for improved accuracy.
This Air Force Caracal was photographed in the Pyrenees in late June 2008. The unit markings of EH 1/67 'Pyrenees' are clearly visible on the main door.
Caracals of the secretive DAOS work mainly with French special units and are rarely photographed. Although the helicopters are stationed in Pau, southwest France, they routinely operate within Africa.
The EC725 has one of the most advanced helicopter cockpits in service. It was so revolutionary that in order to facilitate conversion training from the Puma, a Mirage 2000 pilot was tasked with passing on his knowledge of modern cockpits.
Eurocopter EC725