Rio Grande do Norte state in the Brazilian Northeast might house a military aircraft factory. Representatives of company Aero Vodochody, one of the most traditional in the sector in Europe, signed, last week, a protocol of intentions with the government of the northeastern Brazilian state to build an industrial unit there.
Aero Vodochody is originally from the Czech Republic. It is the largest defense aircraft factory in the country. The protocol for installation of the unit in Brazil was signed at the Czech consulate in São Paulo, between the Economic Development Secretary of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Marcelo Rosado, and the minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Martin Rima, who headed a delegation to the country.
Aero Vodochody plans to transfer the whole of its technology to Brazil. "The factory will be the anchor of the ZPE project (Zone for Processing and Exports) to be established in the future São Gonçalo airport," stated secretary Rosado. The factory project should have the support of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).
The initiative should include the participation of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), the Brazilian Aeronautics Technological Institute (ITA) and the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
According to aeronautics consultant Carlos Alberto Andrade, who accompanied the negotiations for establishment of the enterprise, the factory should be as large or larger than that of Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, established in the city of São José dos Campos, in the interior of the state of São Paulo (SE Brazil).
Aero Vodochody answered, over the last 50 years, to two thirds of the production of pilot training jets. The company produces military and commercial aircraft. Over the last 88 years, since it was created, the company has already produced 11,000 aircraft, of which 6,500 were military. The group has also produced 150 helicopters.
According to information on the company site over the last 30 years, Aero Vodochody posted revenues of 90 billion Czech Koruna (CZK), equivalent to around US$ 5.7 billion. Export revenues totaled 50 billion CZKs, equivalent to US$ 3.1 billion.