COBERTURA ESPECIAL - Brazilian Industrial Base - Technology

August 31, 2015 - 14:00 ( Brasília )

Israeli company IAI wants to be part of Brazil's defense industry

Nelson Düring


Israeli aerospace company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has been establishing partnerships with many Brazilian companies, besides direct operations on the South American country.

The company’s most noticeable imprint in Brazil is operating the Heron Remotely-Controlled Aerial System (SHARP HERON, in Portuguese), employed by the Brazilian Federal Police as part of the SISVANT UAV surveillance program.
In early 2014, the Brazilian Navy tested the SHARP system as part of a study to assess the possibility of integrating it to the Blue Amazon Management System (SisGAAz).
This year, before the LAAD expo, Miki Bar took over as vice-president of IAI’s office in Brazil, having Henrique Gomes as CEO. Bar, a former special advisor for the IAI Group’s CEO, now has the mission of strengthening and expanding the company’s presence in Brazil.

His point of view on the country goes beyond the current economic challenges. “We’re not looking from a short-term perspective, we’re looking into the future”, he said. With this firm belief in a positive future for Brazil, the CEO added: “We want to be part of the nation’s defense industry”.

In order to achieve that, two measures were already taken:

1st – Having shares on IACIT, e,

2nd – holding shares on AVIONICS

The share-holding in both companies already shows positive results. Through IACIT it was possible not only to expand the product range but also establish a maintenance center for the IAI-ELATA radars used in the AF-1M, C-295 Amazonas and P3AM Orion aircrafts. Also, a new OTH (Over the Horizon) Radar base was installed near the city of Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul estate, in southern Brazil.
The OTH Radar uses several frequencies combined, allowing the signal to follow Earth’s natural curving, thus providing much better coverage when compared to other radar patterns.
Finally, through the AVIONICS company it was possible to launch the nationalization program for the SHARP HERON, now known as Caçador (Hunter).
However, Miki Bar’s and Henrique Gomes’s best bet is the KC-X2 initiative – converting two B-767ER cargo planes to perform aerial refueling and long-range strategic transport missions. The Brazilian Air Force already chose IAI, but the project keeps getting postponed due to lack of resources.
As a reminder of how long the Israeli company has been in Brazil, Miki points out that IAI transferred B-767 passenger-to-cargo conversion technology to the former VARIG Engineering & Maintenance (VEM), now TAP E&M. Many aircrafts for international customers were modified at the VEM facilities.
This means that, to some degree, Miki’s aspiration to make his company part of the Brazilian defense industry is already a reality.

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