On 23 April 2021, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Brazil based aerospace firm Embraer and the Brazilian Air force (FAB) towards the study and evaluation of the necessary capabilities for the development and conceptual design of an UAV system.
This memorandum of understanding (MoU) is aimed at determining the operational and logistical elements related to building an advanced UAV system that can fulfill the operational needs of the FAB.
Embraer has not given any details on this new UAV concept, however, the images and videos they’ve shared seem to indicate at a short-winged attack UAV concept.
The FAB has made use of UAV’s for the past ten years. The UAV’s currently in use in the FAB are mostly used for surveillance, reconnaissance and communication missions The most advanced model of which is the Elbit Hermes 900, that was imported from Israel. The FAB is also in possession of the Elbit Hermes 450 and the IAI Heron model that were both manufactured in Israel.
“This is a unique opportunity for the Brazilian air force to deepen its studies in disruptive technologies that may cause an imbalance in current and future scenarios,” says Brazilian air force commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior. “In modern war, it is essential to use unmanned aerial platforms, operating alone or in conjunction with conventional aircraft. Such technology makes it possible to reduce costs and risks, without losing effectiveness in fulfilling the missions assigned to the Brazilian air force.”
“Maintaining cutting military aerospace know-how within the Brazilian industrial base is also motivating the study.” says Embraer.
“This study is of fundamental importance for the maintenance and expansion of Embraer’s competencies in the development of aerial defense systems with high technological content and great integration complexity,” says Jackson Schneider, chief executive of Embraer Defense & Security. “It is also an opportunity for the continuous development of new technologies and products for the Brazilian air force and the Ministry of Defense, aimed at expanding the operational capacity and guaranteeing national sovereignty.” Schneider also added that “A major challenge for this aerial system will certainly be its integration and joint operation with other systems and aircraft, manned or unmanned.”
A new UAV system developed domestically in Brazil is an ambitious project that shows the FAB’s resolution to be the most advanced air force in Latin America and, Embraer’s intention to be one of the most influential global defense companies.