O Comando da Aeronáutica, atento às necessidades operacionais para as próximas décadas e obedecendo ao cronograma de desativação de aeronaves de combate da Força Aérea Brasileira, instituiu, no dia 15 de maio de 2008, a Comissão Gerencial do Projeto F- X2, com o objetivo de conduzir os processos de aquisição de aeronaves de caça a serem incorporadas ao acervo da Força. O intuito deste trabalho é dotar a FAB de uma frota padronizada de aeronaves de caça de múltiplo emprego, com o início das operações no Brasil previsto para o ano de 2015 e para serem utilizadas por aproximadamente 30 anos. O planejamento prevê a substituição gradual das frotas de Mirage-2000, F-5M e A-1M. Para tanto, seis empresas foram pré-selecionadas e receberam solicitação para apresentarem informações (request for information – RFI): 1 - as norte-americanas Boeing (F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet) e Lockheed Martin (F-35 Lightning II); 2 - a francesa Dassault (Rafale); 3 - a russa Rosoboronexport (Sukhoi SU-35); 4 - a sueca Saab (Gripen), e, 5 - e o consórcio europeu Eurofighter (Typhoon). O processo de escolha da aeronave vencedora levará em conta, principalmente, o atendimento aos requisitos operacionais estipulados pela FAB. Outros critérios a serem utilizados na avaliação dizem respeito à logística, aos custos, às condições das ofertas de compensação comercial e o grau de transferência de tecnologia para a indústria aeronáutica brasileira.
Brazil Signs $1B+ Production Deal for Cougar HelicoptersEC725 SAR/SOFFrench Cougar SAR/SOF(click to view full)In November 2007, “Brazil Embarking Upon F-X2 Fighter Program?” discussed both the revived fighter competition, and Brazil’s surprising 50% boost to its defense budget. Other programs mentioned in that article included Brazil’s selection of a medium transport helicopter and of an attack helicopter, with other programs to follow. After decades of neglect, Brazil is reconstituting both its armed forces, and a defense industry that once offered an array of competitive products on the global stage.The medium transport helicopter competition featured 3 established players: AgustaWestland’s EH101 has found success in Britain, Europe, Japan, and even in America as the next Presidential helicopter. Eurocopter’s EC725 Cougar is an updated version of the popular AS332/532 Super Puma, and has been ordered in limited quantities by the French government for special forces and search and rescue roles. An up-to-date version of Russia’s widely used Mi-17 was the 3rd contender; like the Super Puma, Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters are already in wide use within Latin America.In truth, however, Eurocopter always had an edge. The Brazilian Amy’s Aviacao do Exercito already uses the AS532/”HM-3” Super Puma, basing them in the Amazon at Manaus. Its Navy also uses Super Puma variants: AS332s and AS532s both serve in the Navy as the UH-14, flying from Brazil’s NAe Sao Paulo aircraft carrier and from the southeastern base of Sao Pedro da Aldeia in support of Brazil’s Marines. Now, Eurocopter’s offering will become Brazil’s medium-lift helicopter across all services… * The Cougar and the Opportunity * Contracts & Key EventsThe Cougar and the OpportunitySuper Puma MarinhaBrazilian Super Puma(click to view full)Given media descriptions to date, the exact model of helicopter to be produced under this contract remains unclear. While Eurocopter itself uses the Cougar designation primarily for its new EC725 and its EC225 civilian version, Helibras’ pages refer to the AS532 as “Cougar” in line with Aerospatiale marketing efforts since 1990. Compared to the AS532, the EC725 Cougar uses more advanced modular design of the mechanical assemblies, more composite materials, state of the art avionics, and prognostic monitoring systems for key components. Jobim’s reference to a “Super Cougar” helicopter, and the need to invest hundreds of millions in the Minas Gerais plant, both point to the EC725 as the likely model under order. DID is seeking clarification.Meanwhile, the deal itself offers important benefits to both parties. The Brazilians make some progress in the area of fleet standardization, though they will continue to operate helicopters from Bell and Sikorsky as well. They also strengthen a key defense industry relationship, and build national capability. Both moves will make a difference to their long term costs. Production of Cougar helicopters in Brazil also creates a local source for state firms like Petrobras who may need long-range helicopters for their offshore oil rigs, and with “para-public” agencies like law enforcement et. al.On EADS Eurocopter’s end, the deal also offers important benefits. On the one hand, the deal doesn’t quite establish production in a dollar zone, which has been a goal of EADS leadership. Brazil’s Real has increased in value from about $0.35 in January 2004 to almost $0.65 in June 2008, and has even increased in value relative to the Euro, rising from EUR 0.28 to EUR 0.40 over that same period. With Brazil moving away from the US dollar as a reference currency in international trade, Brazilian production will have to compete on its own economic merits, rather than benefiting from currency externalities.On the other hand, the global medium helicopter market is currently very tight, with demand outstripping supply. EH101 production is backlogged to the point that Britain moved to buy Denmark’s fleet rather than wait for factory deliveries of extra machines for the front lines. NHI/Eurocopter’s smaller NH90 is in an even worse state, and is backlogged by years; so is Boeing’s heavy-lift CH-47 Chinook. Sikorsky’s medium-heavy CH-53K will not be a realistic option before 2016 or so. Its smaller H-92 Superhawk has yet to be delivered, has not been ordered in a military transport version, and currently has just small one military customer in Canada. This leaves Russia’s Mi-17, which may have a large Saudi order to work on and attracts questions about its Rosoboronexport’s support and negotiating approaches, or Eurocopter.An additional production line and firm orders for the EC725 offer Eurocopter additional capacity to meet global demand, while fulfilling their existing commitments. It also offers them a key reference customer beyond France, giving their new model credibility as a viable long-term choice for existing Puma and Super Puma operators.Contracts & Key EventsEC725EC725 Cougar(click to view full)June 30/08: Brazil and France sign an agreement in principle for Eurocopter to build helicopters in the South American country via its subsidiary Helibras. Brazil’s Defense Minister Nelson Jobim reportedly said that the country intended to buy 50 “Super Cougar” models, the first of which would be delivered in 2010. The deal’s value is reportedly around $1.2 billion.Under the agreement in principle, France would transfer technology and help Brazil expand the export capacity of its aviation industry by aiding the assembly of helicopter components such as engines and electrical systems. Eurocopter will also invest $300-400 million in Helibras Minas de Gerais plant in central Brazil, in order to prepare it for production.Both countries are expected to also sign a broader strategic defense alliance in December, whose terms could have some influence on Brazil’s choice of fighter for its F-X2 competition.
F-5 como pares para o Su-30??Talvez pelo número, já que as performances não são exactamente as mesmas. Ou será que os mike têm uma aviónica ao nível dos Flankers? Os russos andam a vender equipamento de segunda, ainda? Quero dizer. Os F-5M parecem, de facto, ser aeronaves bastante eficientes, eu comparalos-ia a F-2A de baixo custo, mas não sei se terão o alcance de radar e eficiencia de aviónica do Su-30MK. Creio que em confronto forntal os flankers simplesmente derrubariam os Tigers antes de eles os verem. Claro que estou a ignorar as capacidades de controlo aereo do Brazil, que sinceramente desconheço. Sei que estavam com um atraso tecnológico, mas já não sei onde isso vai neste momento. Em qualquer dos casos, poderias dizer onde posso arranjar mais informações em relação aos F-5M, e aos sistemas de descoberta-radar e contorlo aéreo do Brazil, fiquei curioso.
Em termos de aviônica os F-5M são tão modernos quanto os Su-30MK, conta com um radar menos potente em relação ao do Flanker mas em compensação o F-5M tem uma assinatura radar muito menor por causa de seu pequeno tamanho e da utilização de pintura RAM.
U.S. Offers Technology To Win Brazil Fighter DealBRASILIA - The U.S. is prepared to make an unprecedented offer to transfer technology behind its F/A-18 fighter jets to Brazil to score a multi-billion-dollar contract, U.S. officials said Aug. 5.U.S. State Department under-secretary for arms control Ellen Tauscher and Pentagon acquisition and technology chief Ashton Carter said they outlined the proposal to Brazilian officials on Aug. 4 and 5. Accompanied in Brasilia by President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Marine Gen. Jim Jones, they said the technology transfer was part of a final gambit to try to persuade Brazil's air force to buy 36 new combat aircraft.The deal is worth up to an estimated $4 billion and involves delivering the aircraft from 2014 to replace Brazil's aging fleet of 12 French-made Mirage-2000 jets."The transfer... would be something that we had never done before, and specifically because the relation with Brazil is so prized, so significant for us," Tauscher told reporters.She stressed that the move would be a "big departure from what the U.S. typically does" when it exports sophisticated weaponry, and added that a decision would be made in the next 45 to 60 days.Carter said: "We want to have a technology relationship with Brazil that gets deeper and deeper with the time. This is just the first step."The offer appeared an attempt to blunt competing bids from France's Dassault, which was putting forward its advanced Rafale fighter, and Sweden's Saab, which was proposing its yet-to-be-built Gripen NG.The Rafale, which has stealth-like technology and cutting-edge cockpit interfaces and threat detection, was seen as Brazil's favored choice, largely because France was offering full transfer of technology - the key demand in the tender.Saab, too, has promised to share know-how with Brazil - even though the Gripen's engines were U.S.-designed and therefore subject to U.S. foreign military sales authorization.It was not clear what technology the U.S. was prepared to share from the F/A-18, which was the oldest model aircraft on offer, having been flying since 1980.One consideration, both for Brazil and for the U.S., was likely to be how the F/A-18 might stack up against Venezuela's air force should any future confrontation take place.Venezuela recently purchased 24 Russian and Chinese-developed Su-30MK2s, a modern fighter considered to have superior performance over the U.S. plane.