Brazilian Armed Forces Complain of Obsolete and Broken Equipment and Low Wages

Cover of Brazil's Veja magazine Brazil's armed forces, the largest military in Latin America, are badly equipped, demoralized over pay and stuffed with generals, according to a report by the latest edition of the Brazilian most read and authoritative news magazine Veja.

The report was published a few weeks after President Lula da Silva announced a significant boost in strategic and defense industry funding

The forces are facing their worst crisis because the government has failed to make them a priority and to realize the role they should play in national affairs, political scientist Geraldo Cavagnari of Campinas State University is quoted as saying in the Brazilian weekly.

"Brazil has celebrated 22 years of democracy after 21 years of dictatorships. Now the military is attracting the country's attention with a rare intensity," says the report.

But soldiers are fed up with outdated weaponry such as 30-year-old rifles and Korean War-era tanks, it says.

Some 88% of the air force's planes are more than 15 years old. Of the navy's 21 warships, only 10 are in operation. Just two of its five submarines are in service. Low salaries and lack of funding also are major complaints, according to the magazine.

With 290.000 men and women, Brazil's military is the 15th largest in the world. But ranked by the number of personnel per head of population, it is eighth in the Americas, behind neighbors such as Venezuela. However, there is a high ratio of generals to other troops, Veja says.

Brazilian President Luiz InΓ‘cio Lula da Silva said that defense investment is set to almost double to US$ 5 billion with emphasis in re-developing the defense industry.

In the mid seventies when the Carter administration imposed an arms embargo on the Brazilian military regime for alleged human rights violations, the country developed a significant defense industry and became an important global exporter of arms and military equipment, including aircrafts, armored vehicles and patrol vessels.

Some more sophisticated and secret programs included the development of a nuclear powered submarine, missiles and satellite launching rockets plus nuclear energy.

The magazine says the military's main concerns are defending the Amazon, containing Brazil's leftist neighbors and maintaining its ability to protect the country's maritime territory.

In a poll carried out for Veja by CNT/Sensus, 82% of military personnel surveyed and 72% of civilians said the Amazon region risks being occupied by a foreign power.

Some 88% of civilians, compared with 53% of the military, said the army should fight drug traffickers and other criminals operating in cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, according to the poll.



  • Show Comments (11)

  • Eduardo C.

    We never know this current world.UNHAPPYLY

  • Eduardo C.

    But then again, Brazil has no enemies. / Yowser comment
    It does not matter if we do not have no enemy.But a country like Brasil, that it has an immense border, it must project its defense.Countries of continental dimensions they are always white of concerns.DIFFIDENCE!

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    after the A4 had a very long US military life
    they were sold off too just about any country that had the money to buy them

    11 countries south of texas have or had them

    and with upgrades will be around for a while longer

    look at ti this way with chaves he uses simple equipment
    the AK 47 made for small minded people with little to no training to go off and kill other people

  • Yowser

    Buy American weaponry, the best in the world.
    Brazil must modernize its military and with it’s healthy trade balance should buy U.S. made weaponry and hire the services of U.S. military “contractors (many who are ex-military) to help modernize it’s armed forces. But then again, Brazil has no enemies.

  • ch.c.

    “the ones at the top make real good money”
    Of course, this is why there are compartively more generals in Brazil !

    And guess who is always the commander in chief in every democracy ?
    The President !

    Viva Bin Lula and his 4000 thieves…and long lives to them !.

  • ch.c.

    Was/is the A4 sky hawk a Brazilian aircraft ??????
    πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

    And to Forrest, your ” only the top !/2 of !% are well trained and have some of the right equipment”
    Yesssssss…..the army supposed to control the criminal gangs in SP and Rio !
    And they still fail !
    Looks like in Brazil that this well trained army and having the right equipemt……are losers, not winners.
    Simple proof : after their many cleanssings….do you have a lower crime rate ?
    Not to my knowledge. As dirty and bad as before the cleanings.

    Stupid question : will a US$ 5 billion yearly budget makes a dent to these losers ?
    Just look at the stats one forum member published for the defense budget of many countries and adjust them to the size of their country population and adjust your US$ 5 billion to the size of your country population.
    You still will be ranked….LAST….!!!!!

  • João da Silva

    [quote]a war in brasil would be a tactical war not a strategic one [/quote]

    I agree.If at all there is a war, it would be a tactical one.

    [quote]so stay with well paied well trained and equiped military[/quote]

    You know something? Lots of Brasilians would be more comfortable if the Minister of Defense is a retired Gen from the Air force or Army.We had enough of folks like your Rumsfeld, our Pires, etc;

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    you voted too buy them
    still a very good plane

    sank 3 british ships in the malvinas war

    again buy cruse and relax

    a war in brasil would be a tactical war not a strategic one

    so stay with well paied well trained and equiped military

  • João da Silva

    [quote]the air force show planes look good but the A4 sky hawks well are as old as joao [/quote]

    Forrest, why drag me into this? πŸ™

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    the ones at the top make real good money
    right now a bunch of sea scouts could beat the brasilian navy in open water war fare

    as far as i could tell the roamdeep was the best ship in the brasilian navy when the took it from me

    the air force show planes look good but the A4 sky hawks well are as old as joao

    the army well thoes poor men and women the PM have better equipment than them

    only the top !/2 of !% are well trained and have some of the right equipment

    the war from within will kill brasil
    just like the one that is starting in the nUS

  • ch.c.

    Laugh…laugh….laughhhhhh !!!!!!
    A different opinion from yesterday article on the Brazilian A Bomb !
    Could be the E Bomb ! Ethanol Bomb.
    Who wish to see more pics from the secret uinderground laboratory in SP and even a short video ?
    Here they are : bw=nb&mp=wm&news=1&ms3=6&ms_javascript=true&bbcws=2 ( in one line line not two)

    And when the army intervene to fight drug traffickers and criminals, 100 % of the time, it is because the police force is
    UNABLE to handle what they are supposed to do !

    Stupid question : are you at war….against yourselves ?

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

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