Israel Signs $350 Million Drone Deal With Brazil
By Dialogo November 13, 2009Israel has signed a $350 million deal to supply dozens of unmanned surveillance aircraft to Brazil's national police, a defense official said. The Heron drones, made by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., are to be used to monitor Brazil's borders and help prevent the smuggling of arms, drugs and unspecified natural resources, the official said. They will also be used to augment security during the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Israel Aerospace Industries also supplies Heron aircraft to Germany for use in Afghanistan. The defense official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter on the record. The deal was signed this week during President Shimon Peres' visit to Brazil, the official said. The company will deliver 14 systems, each including multiple drones and auxiliary equipment, he said. Deliveries are to begin within several months, he added, without specifying exactly how many drones were involved. Brazilian police are currently at Israel Aerospace Industries being trained to use the system, he said. The company has expanded its operations with Brazil over the past year, setting up a joint venture with U.S.-based Synergy Group to go after Brazilian contracts.