13 de Julho, 2012 - 09:53 ( Brasília )


Brasilia's windows: Brazilian Air Force breaks the “silence barrier”

Text in Portuguese - Janelas da indecisão: Força Aérea quebra a Barreira do Silêncio

Vianney Riller Jr

Was it a random incident, or a reaction to the FX-2 postponement? Well, the reality of the facts is that though the surveys stating that Brazilian people have the military in high consideration and confidence as a national institution, they actually do not realize the big picture of the defense affairs and its meaning to the Brazil's international relations and regional influence, what means that are no votes involved into the equation. In that way, it is very simple to understand the Brazilian Government behavior about the FX-2 decision: No elector push, no immediate need to deal with.

But in the other hand, the question is quite real. Airframe lifetime can't be ignored. Engines can be replaced, avionics upgraded, but you can't gloss a recurring G, twisted piece of metal. The guys that ride those aircrafts, even passionate with their jobs, don't feel so comfortable, anymore. Their lives are directly affected by this ever postponed decision.

Not to mention the obsoleteness of the F-5 and Mirage-2000 to fulfill a dissuasion vector role in a turbulent region. Venezuela, that nowadays operates the Su-30MK2, waves to the Russian in order to acquire the powerful Su-35. Argentina, besides the economic instability, keeps raising the temperature around the Malvinas/Falklands Islands issue (Brazil experienced air space violations during the first conflict). Bolivia, Colombia and Paraguay have not been so quiet at all. Extensive borders mean extensive concern.

A combination of factors like the importance in the balance of the South America, the territorial size and the huge amount of natural resources like the recent discovered off-shore pre-salt oil fields, for example, demand Brazilian government to drive defense affairs as a State Policy and not as a Government Policy. It means long term planning and commitment.

What about the windows? A human mistake. The alleged version was that a neglect rising to a careless overspeed, unsuitable for that kind of presentation, was the cause of the damage. One pilot is under investigation and for while he was withdrawn of his flying functions. It is hard to believe that a very skilled pilot from one of the most important wing in Brazil could’ve made it by a mistake.

The video of the episode and the whispers into the Air Bases indicate a different understanding. While it may be an isolated (and daring) shout of a single pilot, it reflects a common feeling, even into a high disciplined Air Force that with Army and the Navy support unconditionally the Democratic Rule-of-Law State. The major Brazilian media has been discussing if the sound barrier has been broken or not, but what looks like to have been broken was the silence one.

Note DefesaNet - For images and video see 
FAB – Rasante de Mirages quebra fachada de vidros do STF Link