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

Wednesday, February 6th 2013 - 05:50 UTC
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The Falcao unmanned aircraft that Avibras has developed for Brazil's Air Force The Falcao unmanned aircraft that Avibras has developed for Brazil's Air Force

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.

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.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • reality check

    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.

    Feb 06th, 2013 - 08:49 am 0
  • LEPRecon

    @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

    Feb 06th, 2013 - 08:58 am 0
  • reality check

    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.

    Feb 06th, 2013 - 09:51 am 0
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