Wednesday, February 6th 2013 - 05:50 UTC

Brazil and Israeli companies join to develop unmanned aircraft for border control

Brazilian defence contractor Avibras will join plane maker Embraer SA and the local unit of Israeli Defence Company Elbit Systems in developing unmanned aircraft in Brazil, the companies said on Tuesday.

The Falcao unmanned aircraft that Avibras has developed for Brazil's Air Force

Brazil will be hosting next year the World Cup and in 2016 the Olympic Games and needs to keep tight control of its 16.000 kilometres of frontiers with ten Latinamerican countries. This is particularly serious in the central south, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia, where smuggling is an everyday business from colonial times but now includes deadly arms for criminal activities and drugs.

Unmanned aircraft can play a key role in patrolling jungles and rivers from the air.

Avibras will take a 9% stake in a joint venture known as Harpia Systems, which will expand its line-up to include the Falcao unmanned aircraft that Avibras has developed for Brazil's Air Force.

“Avibras' participation increases domestic shareholding in Harpia Systems,” Embraer's defence chief Luiz Carlos Aguiar said in a statement, adding that the joint venture now qualifies as a strategic defence company under Brazilian law.

Embraer will hold on to its 51% stake in Harpia, while Elbit's Brazilian unit AEL Systems will reduce its stake from 49% to 40%.

Harpia is one of several new defence projects Embraer has undertaken in recent years to take advantage of Brazil's burgeoning military budget and offset the volatile sales cycle in commercial aviation.

Defence contracts will likely contribute 21% of the Embraer's revenue this year, the company said on Monday, more than doubling its share in five years.

From Sao Paulo it was also announced that Embraer would be refurbishing the five AWAC from the Brazilian Air Force in a program that will demand 210 million dollars.

The refurbishing will include avionics, electronic war systems, command and control, air vigilance radars with the purpose of improving border patrolling and transmitting to land, sea and air forces any strange movements or targets

The AWAC fleet will also be used to keep track of the great sports events in the busy international agenda extending until 2016.

14 comments Feed

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1 reality check (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 08:49 am Report abuse
Nice technology, wonder if they will share it with their Argentinian brother, certain that Israel won't anymore.
It could come in handy for the Argentines to monitor the rigs when they are up and running, well only for as long as it takes the Typhoons to splash them.
2 LEPRecon (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 08:58 am Report abuse
@1 - RC

Brazil wants this technology to keep the Argentines at bay, more than any other reason, and in my opinion that is reason enough.

They know that sooner or later Argentina will emulate Somalia, and descend into complete chaos, being run by gangsters and 'militia's' over whom no single government has any control.

Chile might also be interested in this type of technology. They could either buy it from the Brazilians, or maybe from the British, as we already have this type of UAV, which have been proven in combat and extremely harsh conditions.

They will both need to defend themselves from Argentine terrorists and pirates in the future.

The FIG can rely on the UK to protect them, but I'm sure that they wouldn't mind buying a few well-armed FIDF patrol vessels, to keep the Argentine pirates at bay. :D
3 reality check (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 09:51 am Report abuse
Good idea for when the oil revenue starts to roll in. If I was the Islanders, I would employ some ex RN, RM or SBS boys ,to select and equip the vessels, select and train the FI personel who would operate them with support from the Regular services if needed. They would have themselfs a damn fine small scale protection unit, the founders of their own future maritime services no doubt.
4 Viscount Falkland (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 11:44 am Report abuse
Well the FI government dont need anything..... because the only boating equipment they can buy is an inflatable air-bed and their submarines wont sink and their warships sink in the harbour.
5 ChrisR (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 11:46 am Report abuse
@1 & 2

I bet TMBOA will have another bout of 'low blood pressure' when she finds out about this: if any of her goons have the guts to tell her that is.

Don't you love it when a AR plan goes wrong.
6 LEPRecon (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 12:18 pm Report abuse
@4 Viscount

However if Argentina descend into Anarchy, you can bet they'll turn to piracy, and try to hassle any boats in the South Atlantic, kidnapping the crew and demanding $$$$$ for their return.

A couple of well armed patrol vessels will dissuade these people. The icing on the cake would be if the vessels are 100% FI owned and run. Imagine how that would annoy the RGs! As RC says, there will be plenty of very experienced ex RN and RM, who will be more than happy to crew their vessels. The RN/RM have a lot of experience in anti-piracy patrols.
7 Viscount Falkland (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 01:13 pm Report abuse
Just put Mr Clifton and Mr Biggs on one of these and rig the gatling gun on the front and there will be no
8 reality check (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 01:34 pm Report abuse
Better still the guys can pass that knowledge and experience on to the Islanders themselfs, the day will come when the islanders will be fully autonomous, if they choose to be that is.

You never know, growing up on the islands as we speak, may be some boy or girl, who in twenty or thirty years time will be their first Primeminister, President or what ever appropriate title they choose. Might even be one of Joe B's kids.

One thing is assured though, unlike Mr Timmermans forcast, it will not be an Argentinian. (Knew I would get that in there somewhere.)
9 row82 (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 02:47 pm Report abuse
Please support this page - Falklands Forever British - dedicated to Falkland Islands current affairs, keeping the islands free and poking fun at the lunacy of the Argentine government and their various claims and winding up their Internet trolls -
10 GeoffWard2 (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 02:51 pm Report abuse
Something just doesn't ring true.

Surveillance and predator drones stationed over the many thousands of miles of land border ... for the World Cup and the Olympics.
Pull the other one!

Are they worried about supporters of the surrounding nations crossing the border to see their matches, etc?
Pull the other one!

Are they worried about the illegal cross-border trade in 'deadly arms for criminal activities', when the air and sea ports are open-entry to all and sundry? And are they worried that the sports fans might buy the weapons?
Pull the other one!

Perhaps they are worried that there are insufficient 'lost bullets' in Brasil to threaten the world's sports fans, and that more will need to be illegally imported.
Pull the other one!

Are they worried that the visitors coming from across the world to view sport will generate a whole new business in the drugs coming from other South American countries?
Pull the other one!

No, this is a palliative to satisfy FIFA and the Olympic Committee.

But more so, it is so Brasil can be seen as a 'modern' armed state, and one able to 'defend the people' from foreign insurgents and from its own armed gangs operating within and from the city favelas.

It will be just a matter of time before the military's 'angels of unexpected death' blows to smithereens their houses and cars, killing from on high the men with guns in the slums.

Let's hope the Brasilian Government have a better PR machine than the US in Pakistan.
11 briton (#) Feb 06th, 2013 - 07:28 pm Report abuse
it has to be tested,
argentina is now the best testing ground.
12 Brasileiro (#) Feb 07th, 2013 - 12:34 am Report abuse
Brasil have 86% of your population in urbans zone. Qual o país do terceiro mundo é assim? Nine cities have 80% from the urban poverty. So, the problem is of the easy solution. If we want.
Nuclear Dam, Submarine base, drones, fights jets......oh, we are dont prepared to be a coercitive society. CHANGE BRASIL!!!
13 Eduardo Orozco (#) Feb 07th, 2013 - 04:57 pm Report abuse

There's nothing weird about it. Brazil is a continent-sized country, larger than continental US, but with some 120 million people less. And almost 90% live in the cities and near the coast. These areas are almost entirely covered by forest and it's difficult to patrol them. Aircrafts like those could be useful.

Favelas can be taken without the use of drones. Several of them were taken recently. The first ones with shootings and victims, in the following, the government gave them a period of time of abandoning the local and then came in without confrontation. The problem is not taking favelas, but avoiding a blood bath if it's done.
14 GeoffWard2 (#) Feb 07th, 2013 - 09:21 pm Report abuse
Eduardo #13
Your para 1
Drones can be selectively deployed on known smuggling routes, but
self-evidently, the whole border cannot be constantly monitored - even by satellites!
There is 14,691 km of land border:
Argentina: 1,224 km
Bolivia: 3,400 km
Colombia: 1,643 km
French Guiana[25] (France): 673 km
Guyana: 1,119 km
Paraguay: 1,290 km
Peru: 1,560 km
Suriname: 597 km
Uruguay: 985 km
Venezuela: 2,200 km
The length of coastline is a fractal problem, but 7,490 km is a good approximation. This also cannot all be constantly monitored, but ports and river mouths can be focuses of attention. Satellites (should) plot all ship transits but drones are great for ultra-fast drug runs.
On-land, on-river and on-sea interceptions are an equally huge problem for such a huge nation.
.... and then there is corruption and collusion with the authorities .... 11 different contiguous countries, and transits from 190 others.

Your para 2
My point exactly, Eduardo. I was around Rio/SP when Rocina was taken and saw the disruption caused in the helecopter footages.

A drone at 40,000 - 50,000ft is, in practice, undetectable (unlike a helecopter) and can identify car number-plates, individuals, armaments and activities
... or rather, the US ones in Afghanistan can; it remains to be seen to what specification the Brasilian models are built.

There does remain a significant problem of 'taking' the thousands of favelas.
The Russians and the US tried to 'pacify' Kabul, etc. and found intervention on the ground to be a series of blood-baths. Drone strikes are considered to be 'clinical' .... except if you are part of a wedding party
:-(collateral, “we are sorry”)

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