Brazilian giant Embraer successfully flew the prototype of the A-1M for the first time at its Gavião Peixoto industrial facility. General Juniti Saito, commander of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), and officers from the FAB high command participated in the ceremony.
The A-1M program foresees the refurbishment and modernization of 43 subsonic AMX fighters belonging to the Air Force. Ten aircraft are already at the company’s facilities, and the first deliveries are expected in 2013.
The same ceremony also marked the delivery to the FAB of its 99th and last A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprop plane, as well as the last two F-5M fighters in the first batch to be modernized. Through the AL-X program, the Air Force became the initial customer for the launch of the Super Tucano in December 2003.
Currently, this aircraft is used in advanced fighter pilot training and plays a significant role in the Amazon Surveillance System. The Super Tucano has been chosen by ten customers from Africa, South America, and the Asia-Pacific region.
The F-5M program covers the modernization and refurbishment of 46 supersonic fighters. Each modernized plane received new navigation systems, weapons, computers, and multimode radar.
“The A-1Ms are receiving modern systems similar to those that are already part of the equipment of the F-5M and A-29. All the updates and acquisitions are related to the objectives that are part of the Air Force Military Strategic Plan, which seeks to position the Air Force over the medium and long term, within the conditions set by the Military Defense Policy and the National Defense Strategy. A premise of this process is the search for commercial, industrial, and technological benefits, with a view toward the development of defense material and the strengthening of domestic industry,” Gen. Saito said.
“This being the case, our equipment takes advantage of the similarity between the avionics of these aircraft, which helps our pilots to adapt and represents a standardization that offers countless operational advantages, such as the priority of Air Force deployment doctrine and better performance in terms of flight hours. This technical capacity of Embraer to meet our needs strengthens the Air Force and as a consequence, strengthens Brazil, to the degree that it leaves us ready to respond to a threat against the sovereignty of our airspace,” the general stated.