IAI Reports Brazilian Defense Initiatives

Ahead of the LAAD Defence and Security show in Brazil in mid-April, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) reported on various initiatives in that country. “IAI sees South America in general—and Brazil in particular—as a growth engine,” explained Joseph Weiss, president and CEO. 

Last year, IAI acquired a minority holding in the Brazilian company Avionics Services. The pair is offering an upgrade of the IAI Heron unmanned aircraft system (UAS) named Cacador, which will be manufactured in São Paulo. It will be equipped with an automatic takeoff and landing system (ATOL) and diverse mission payloads, according to IAI. Rival Israeli company Elbit Systems is the main supplier of UAS to the Brazilian air force. But IAI noted that the Brazilian Federal Police have been flying the Heron UAS since 2010 “in a variety of complex scenarios.”

IAI reported that construction of an over-the-horizon (OTH) radar had begun at a coastal site in the south of Brazil. Subsidiary company Elta Systems teamed with Brazilian electronics company IACIT in 2013 to deliver the OTH to the Brazilian Navy. Operating in the HF band according to the surface-wave principle, the design offers surveillance for hundreds of miles at sea. According to IAI, the OTH radar employs phased-array technology and unique interference-cancellation techniques that provide reliable and persistent coverage, regardless of atmospheric conditions or sea state.
Meanwhile, IACIT is preparing to open a maintenance and support facility for the IAI-Elta airborne radars that are in service with the Brazilian armed forces. The ELM-2022 maritime patrol radar is fitted to the Airbus C-295 and Lockheed P-3 fleets of the Brazilian air force. The ELM-2032 fire control radar was selected for the 12 A-4 Skyhawks that are being upgraded by the Brazilian navy. IAI-Elta said that the facility could be expanded as a support hub for additional Latin American customers. 

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