Brazil Earmarks US$ 2.2 Bi for 36 Fighter Jets. Just for Starters

French fighter Rafael The Brazilian government is planning a major increase of Brazil's armed forces budget and a long term boost to the local defense industry and military technology, which includes the purchase of 36 fighter jets worth US$ 2.2 billion, revealed the Brazilian press over the weekend.

The announcement follows a recent decision by Brazilian President Luiz InΓ‘cio Lula da Silva administration to create a National Defense Strategy group designed to program the recovery of the "capability of our armed forces and the technological edge we once had in certain fields."

This will begin with a 50% hike of the defense budget as of next year which will total approximately US$ 5 billion.

According to the main guidelines of the long term strategy outlined by Lula, the Brazilian defense industry must again take the lead in the export of missiles, aircrafts and several different kinds of equipment. "We must convince ourselves that we can become a world power this century," pointed out Lula.

Although no details were given about the fighter planes purchase, the US$ 2.2 billion operation must ensure military technology transfer to Brazil, said the SΓ£o Paulo press reports. Currently 37% of the Air Force 719 units are grounded.

Candidates include the Eurofighter built by a consortium of European corporations; the Swedish-British built Gripen; France's Rafael and Russia's Sukhoi. Apparently the French have the lead because they are offering a more complete package and Brazil has a long tradition of working and operating Dassault aircrafts.

This is not necessarily true of some of the United States corporations, which at one time was the main supplier of Brazil's forces.

"Whatever the final contract it must be closely linked to national development, to help advance in the creation of a strong defense industry and therefore the technological edge we are requesting," said Defense minister Nelson Jobim.

However Jobim also revealed that Brazil has informed neighboring countries of its defense industry plans and insisted that "we're not embarking in an arms race."

The National Defense Strategy Group has been given 12 months to come up with a defense development plan for the next 10/15 years.

"We must overcome the lack of strategic planning and the technological dismantling of the last two decades," said Lula, who insisted that recovery of the defense industry, promoting research and training more qualified staff "are central to a defense strategy."

However the report must also address possible constitutional and legal sensitive reviews such as "participation of the military in law and order issues," which means "strategy targets in conflict and peace circumstances."

"In peace times to keep watch over Brazilian territory, fluvial and land borders, and sovereignty of the Amazon, and in conflict, quick display of human and physical resources to impede any threat to Brazilian territory."

Roberto Mangabeira Unger, head of Long Term Planning Department, said that Brazil "can't further tolerate the hiatus in military lack of protection" and civil and military intelligence must work together to think "what is we want as a sovereign nation from our soldiers."

Although Brazil has no conflicts with any of its ten neighboring countries or world powers, "its borders are highly permeable to all type of criminal activities such as drug and arms trafficking, contraband, car stealing and even the Colombian guerrillas move freely in the Amazon region," said Unger.

"We have an inattention debt to our armed forces," he underlined.

But political analysts from SΓ£o Paulo university see another more immediate and practical reason for Lula's sudden interest in revitalizing Brazilian armed forces and that is the northern neighbor regime of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Overflowing with oil dollars, and banned from US military equipment, the former parachute commander has embarked Venezuela in a full re-equipment of the armed forces investing billions of dollars in state of the art Sukhoi fighter planes; helicopters; frigates; submarines; tanks and armored vehicles; radars plus a Kalashnikov plant to build the world famous K 47.



  • Show Comments (8)

  • Manuel

    πŸ˜‰ you know nothing. Look IRAQ!, IRAN!, the Middle East! Russia, China…haha

  • aes

    The thing is they are almost double the cost of the F161

  • aes
    Lockeed Martin Sufa F161 is on sale for $45 million per plane. That is about $35 million considering the comparative strength of the Real from a year ago. The time to buy is now.

    If the Israeli airforce is choosing the F161 there must be a reason. The life of that nation depends upon such choices. Not in theory, but in daily reality.

  • Ric

    Maybe the others are significantly cheaper than the American units. Maybe the feeling is that the Americans would play hardball in the tech transfer area. Maybe the financing is more favorable.

    Commerce is a good thing for all, good they are planning to upgrade, if the past 50 years is any guide at all the planes will never be used for anything but training anyway. Fighter jets to deal with car theft? Sukhois deployed against smugglers?
    How would that work?

  • aes

    How far ahead of the pack is the F-22? Especially when compared to European fighters like the Rafael, Eurofighter, and Gripen? This is something that matters a lot to the Air Force, which thinks the F-22 is vital to maintaining air superiority Γ€Β’β‚¬β€œ replacing the F-15C as soon as possible, even at the expense of reducing the buy of the F-35. How valid is the Air ForceÀ’€ℒs claim?

    First, one needs to look at how visible the aircraft in question are on radar. The F-15C is probably the most visible, entering service just as Lockheed began work on the F-117 Nighthawk. The Rafael and Eurofighter have taken steps to reduce their radar-cross section from the front. The Gripen has not had as much work on this front. The F-22, however, has the lowest radar-cross section and has it on all aspects. It also has another major advantage in this regard when compared to these European fighters: the F-22 carries its weapons internally, while all three of the European fighters carry the weapons externally. While some missiles like the Storm Shadow and SCALP have reduced radar cross-sections, some weapons still reflect radar well. This means that the Rafael and Eurofighter will still be at a huge disadvantage.

    The next question is how good the radars are. The F-15À’€ℒs APG-70 has been upgraded over the years, to the point where it can distinguish an aircraft using Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR). The Air Force does not reveal much about the system, but NCTR is said to be capable of revealing the model and even variations on a given model of a target being tracked by radar. The RafaelÀ’€ℒs RBE2 is capable of searching out and tracking targets in the air and on the ground or sea, as well as classifying those targets, and it also is a low-probability of intercept radar, which means that it can track targets with less chance of the target knowing it is a target. The EurofighterÀ’€ℒs CAPTOR (a variant of the Blue Vixen used on the retiring Sea Harrier F/A.2s) has a unique three-channel system that gives it additional ability in electronic counter-counter measures (ECCM) as well as air-search and surface-search capabilities. The F-22À’€ℒs radar is designed to use spread spectrum transmission to locate and track targets before they even know the F-22 is there. The F-22 also has the most advanced NCTR system put into a fighter aircraft.

    Finally, how good are the countermeasures? The Rafael, Gripen, and Eurofighter rely on active jamming systems. These put out energy to distract radar. However, these systems will still advertise the presence of the aircraft and provide ample warning. These days, missiles can be programmed to home in on jamming Γ€Β’β‚¬β€œ and that means life could be exciting and short for pilots who use them. The F-22, on the other hand, does not rely on jammers as much as they rely on diverting and absorbing radar waves. Comparing these systems is difficult, since information about systems used in electronic warfare (including jamming and systems like NCTR) is usually classified.

    Even though stealth is wrapped in cloaks of secrecy, two things are apparent: First, the United States has a significant head start on stealth technology Γ€Β’β‚¬β€œ mostly because of the head start of ten to fifteen years that was gained by the successful protection of the F-117À’€ℒs gestation. France is working on a stealthy UAV, which will supposedly have a lower RCS than the F-22 or F-35, but that is not yet proven. The United Kingdom is also rumored to be working on a stealth aircraft called HALO, with D-Notices allegedly being issued to press outlets to keep sightings from making news. Second, the stealth race is on, and efforts are being made to catch up with the United States.

  • aes

    Hmmm. Begin with thinking.

  • Simpleton

    No One Chaves His Arse
    Main guidelines? “long term strategy outlined by Lula,”?? “the Brazilian defense industry must again take the lead in the export of missiles, aircrafts and several different kinds of equipment.”??? You have a plan to sell these to whom and you want someone else to bankroll it all and bring in the external technology for you to assimulate???? Who’s idea is it to try to rake in quick returns from your neighbors – you’re offering an alternative to all that expensive soviet gear????? Nothing but questions no one is going to like answering – least not honestly nor publicly.

  • forrest Brown

    sounds like penis inve on LULAs part
    no air refuling , all aircraft listed need long runways & lots of maintence by well trained qulifide personal
    all need a well defined fuel mix , groung crews ,ground equipment ,spare parts
    sims for pilots , tranning aircraft there is another billion right there unless you keep them all on one base in SP or brasilia then what use would they be

    looks like 2.2 billion dollars worth of targets
    how about 2 billion worth of cruse missels and a few trucks just parked in old barns all over brasil with 25 prop planes for spotters with lazer or GPS com

    the infamous AK 47 , can be used by any idiot as it is built on the KISS prinsipal still a good gun to arm the right people to do your dirty work
    and you sit back and watch the country come apart from the inside
    sound like something chaves would do ???????????

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