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Embraer rolls out KC-390 military airlift

October 21, 2014 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Embraer, Syndicated Industry News 

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Embraer to manage Gripen NG development and production for Brazil’s F-X2 program

July 11, 2014 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Embraer, SAAB, Sweden, Syndicated Industry News 

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Cyber Intelligence Report – June 1, 2014

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A Win for Saab: Brazil Opts for the Gripen NG

December 19, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, SAAB, Sweden, Syndicated Industry News 

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Brazilian Air Force (FAB) Receives the First Modernized A-1M

September 4, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Embraer, Israel, Italy, Syndicated Industry News 

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Brazilian Air Force to Retire Mirage 2000 by Year’s End

August 8, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Syndicated Industry News 

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Boeing-Embraer Tighten KC-390 Cooperation

June 18, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Boeing, Brazil, Syndicated Industry News, United States 

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 6.45.42 PMThe growing cooperation between Boeing and Embraer on the Brazilian KC-390 programme. According to this agreement Boeing will lead sales, marketing, training and sustainment of the KC-390 in selected markets. i-hls reports. Boeing and the Brazilian...

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First Israeli Boeing 737 Flys C-MUSIC DIRCM Self-Protection System

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 4.57.17 AMElbit Systems is presenting the newest member of the MUSIC Directional Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) systems at the 2013 Paris Airshow. Defense-Update reports. The new, compact system dubbed ‘mini-MUSIC’ is designed to protect small rotary and...

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IAI Set Aim on Emerging Markets

June 17, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, IAI, Israel, Syndicated Industry News 

weiss300Navigating Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) through difficult and challenging time, President and CEO Joseph Weiss has set ambitious goal for the company’s future growth. With slow US market and declining European demand, IAI is setting its aim on...

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Israeli Surveillance Systems for Brazil’s SISFRON

elbit_eoElbit Systems will supply electro-optical observation and surveillance systems for the Brazilian border security program known as 'SISFRON'. The systems will be supplied via Elbit Systems' Brazilian subsidiary AEL Sistemas, starting in 2014

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Brazil’s GUARANI to Replace EE-11 URUTU Armored Vehicles by 2015

April 8, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Syndicated Industry News 

The Brazilian Army has already inducted over 86 VBTP-MR GUARANI 6x6 APCs armed with remote weapon stations. The Brazilian Army plans to induct additional 2,044 units by 2030.The Brazilian Army has already inducted over 86 VBTP-MR GUARANI 6x6 APCs armed with remote weapon station under the URUTU-3 modernisation programme to replace their EE-11 URUTU by 2015.

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Brazil’s Defense Industry – Market Report 2012-2017

April 7, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Syndicated Industry News 

brazil_market_report300270Brazil is expected to spend US$20.83 billion on arms procurements in the next five years.

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LAS Controversies Continue

In this time of Continuing Resolution the U.S. Air Force’s Light Air Support (LAS) contract is one of the few major new programs to begin in FY13. The second attempt to conduct the contest led to same result as the first. Sierra Nevada (SNC) using a airframe from Brazil’s Embraer was selected and Beechcraft’s T-6 based proposal was rejected. As with the first attempt Beechcraft has filed a GAO protest.

The Air Force has announced that using available policy they will override the stop work that normally happens for 100 days while the GAO works out the protest. This has been done in the “best interests of the United States or unusual and compelling circumstances.” Due to the first protest and the do over on the contest it is already a year behind schedule. This new one could also cause several months delay.

The protest and the award remained tied up in politics and concerns about loss of work to a U.S. company. Sierra Nevada had originally planned to have a facility in Florida to do some of the work finishing the aircraft but they would be assembled in Brazil. The company is now looking at ways to increase the amount of jobs created by the contract through “in-sourcing” the work.

The loss of the contract to the U.S. company has been a further blow to the Kansas military aviation industry. Boeing (BA) has moved their work from the Wichita facility to Washington for the new KC-46A tanker. Beechcraft had planned to build their AT-6 in the state. As such it is attracting the interest of Kansas’ Congressional delegation.

With so few major programs and contracts predicted for the near future fights like this over awards will continue. Each company has a lot to gain by winning the work and as the defense budget declines there will be less contracts available.

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IAI to Convert Two Boeing 767 Into Flying Tankers for Brazil

March 15, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Colombia, IAI, Israel, Syndicated Industry News 
IAI's first B767 MMTT conversion was the 'Jupiter' currently operated by the Colombian Air Force (FACH).The Brazilian Air Force Command has selected Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to convert two Boeing 767-300ER commercial aircraft into military, multi-mission tanker and transport (MMTT) aircraft under project KC-X2. According to Israeli sources the conversion program will cover three aircraft with options for more in the future.

Beechcraft Corp. to Protest Again on the US Air Force Decision to Award LAS Contract to Embraer

AT-6-Aerial300Beechcraft Corporation today announced that it will formally protest to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) recent award of the Light Air Support contract to its Brazilian competitor, Embraer. “We simply don’t understand how the Air Force can justify spending over 40 percent more – over $125 million more – for what we consider to be less capable aircraft,” Bill Boisture, CEO, Beechcraft said.

Air Force to Try Again with LAS Contract and Sierra Nevada

In a blow to the newly reorganized Hawker Beechcraft the U.S. Air Force after conducting a second source selection due to that company’s protest again selected Sierra Nevada for the Light Air Support (LAS) contract. That U.S. company will team with Brazil’s Embraer to provide the Afghan Air Force several modified turboprop aircraft. The initial contract is worth $950 million.

If all goes well there may be other customers for the system optimized for use in counter insurgency and non-conventional warfare. There were only two bidders with Hawker utilizing a version of their T-6 trainer already in use by the U.S. military.

An earlier attempt to award the contract late last year to Sierra Nevada was halted on Hawker’s protest which was upheld by the General Accountability Office (GAO). This led to a re-evaluation of the proposals submitted with Sierra Nevada being selected a second time.

As with the first attempt there is nothing to stop Hawker from protesting if they believe the source selection was conducted unfairly.

The selection of a non-U.S. aircraft has already received some criticism from Congress.

The Air Force has struggled the last decade to conduct these large aircraft source selections. The KC-X new aerial tanker program took 3 tries before Boeing (BA) won with a version of their 767 airliner. The CSAR-X combat rescue helicopter was ended after 2 rounds of bids and protests and the Air Force is yet to buy a replacement for their current fleet of MH-60 aircraft.

If Hawker does not protest this will actually be a victory for recent Air Force acquisitions as it only took 2 tries and was awarded fairly quickly. Deliver of the first aircraft, though, is reportedly delayed a full year.

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Brazil Embarks on an AEW&C Upgrade

February 28, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Embraer, SAAB, Sweden, Syndicated Industry News 
The Brazilian Air Force is upgrading its E-99 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft. Saab Defence and security company announced today it has received an order from the Brazilian company Embraer Defense and Security, for the upgrade of the Erieye AEW&C Mission System. The total order amounts to about US$60 million

Brazil Embarks on an AEW&C Upgrade

February 28, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Embraer, SAAB, Sweden, Syndicated Industry News 
r99The Brazilian Air Force is upgrading its E-99 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft. Saab Defence and security company announced today it has received an order from the Brazilian company Embraer Defense and Security, for the upgrade of the Erieye AEW&C Mission System. The total order amounts to about US$60 million

Brazil Expects to Deploy Pantsir-S1 Air-Defense Systems Before the Rio-2016 Olympics

February 21, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Russia, Syndicated Industry News 
The Brazilian Ministry of Defense will commence negotiations for the procurement of Pantsir-S1 (SA-22) and Igla (SA-18) Very Short Range Air-Defense missiles (VSHORAD). Timely delivery of the systems is critical to provide Brazil with the necessary air-defense assets it required to place for the Rio 2016 Olympic games.

Air Force Will Attempt Second Contest for Light Air Support Aircraft

Following up on its decision to cancel the initial contract to Sierra Nevada and Brazil’s Embraer for the initial order of Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft for use by the Afghan military the U.S. Air Force now plans a new contest. The contract was protested by Hawker Beechcraft whose T-6 based proposal was removed from the competition. After the start of an investigation into the source selection which continues the service’s leadership decided to end the first attempt and begin again.

The Air Force investigation found that there was not sufficient justification for the decisions to remove Hawker and award the $300 million contract to Sierra Nevada. This company teamed with Embraer which would see their Tucano based system assembled in Florida.

Now it is expected that an amended Request for Proposals will be issued in the near future allowing the two companies to compete again.

If the program goes as planned it could be worth up to $1 billion in orders.

With the new proposal process it is hoped that a decision will be made next year.

Hawker is struggling and may face bankruptcy in the near future and the LAS win would be a major boon for the company. Brazil is looking at buying a new fighter and Boeing’s (BA) F/A-18 is one of the major contenders and a win for Embraer is believed to be helpful for that contest.

The Air Force has struggled over the last decade with awarding new contracts. There was the long running KC-X tanker program which took three attempts to award finally to Boeing. The new combat rescue helicopter, CSAR-X, went through two iterations but is now currently on hold. The cornerstone of the new Air Force, Lockheed’s (LMT) Joint Strike Fighter, is facing cost and schedule problems. The Light Air Support program seems to continue that trend.

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New Light Air Support Contest for Sierra Nevada and Hawker Beechcraft?

Late last year the U.S. Air Force awarded a contract to a team of Sierra Nevada and Brazil’s Embraer to provide light attack aircraft for use by the Afghan military. The contract also had the potential for further orders to support the U.S. military and other potential foreign customers. The only other company to submit a bid was Hawker Beechcraft.

The award was controversial as the Air Force eliminated Hawker’s bid for not being in the competitive range as well as denied their attempts to protest the decision. Hawker sued in Federal Court and it came out that the contract had already been awarded to Sierra Nevada. After reviewing the process the decision was made four weeks ago to cancel the contract and begin an investigation into the contracting process.

The Air Force has stated that the investigation will conclude next week and that it focused on documentation of the decision and not the actions of either contractor. Based on the data gathered so far the Air Force has decided to reinstate Hawker, allow new proposals and may conduct another evaluation. The service also may reserve the right to conduct a whole new competition with a new request for proposals and new bids.

At the same time there are reports that Hawker may have to file for bankruptcy due to its current debt load. If that is true then the Light Air Support contract may be key to keeping the company viable.

The Air Force has struggled over the last decade with evaluating bids and awarding contracts for new aircraft. The KC-X aerial tanker took three tries before Boeing (BA) won it with a version of their 767 airliner over Europe’s EADS. The CSAR-X rescue helicopter had two different competitions with no satisfactory result and the program ended up being cancelled. This contract follows in a similar vein.

The review seems to indicate that the Air Force found enough issues with the source selection process to warrant a new competition. Hopefully this one when it is completed will be conducted in such a way to avoid protest and strife and the service can move out with buying the aircraft.

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Sierra Nevada and Embraer’s Light Attack Contract Canceled by Air Force

Late yesterday the U.S. Air Force announced that it had canceled the contract signed in December with Sierra Nevada and Embraer to provide Light Attack aircraft for use by the Afghan military. The contract was in dispute by Hawker Beechcraft whose own proposal had been eliminated by the Air Force prior to source selection even taking place and no work was being done by the winners.

Hawker was in the process of suing in Federal court to get the decision to award to the winning team overturned. Earlier it had been denied a chance to protest as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled it did not file in time. During one of the first court hearings about the case the Air Force admitted that they had gone ahead and given the contract to Sierra Nevada who was going to use aircraft manufactured by Brazil’s Embraer SA. Sierra Nevada had established a plant in Jacksonville for this effort.

Not only did the Air Force cancel the existing contract they announced that they will conduct an investigation of the process used to select the winners. There was no discussion of whether there would be a new requirement and contest.

Hawker had bid a version of their T-6 trainer used by the Air Force and Navy currently while Sierra Nevada was going to use a variant of Embraer’s Tucano aircraft which is in use by several countries. The initial contract would provide systems for use by the Afghans with the potential for further sales to the U.S. or other customers.

This is the third major acquisition in the last ten years that the Air Force has struggled to award. The KC-X tanker took three tries before Boeing (BA) won it. The CSAR-X new rescue helicopter never was completed despite two tries and multiple protests. This means that the LAS contract will have to be begun again or a new requirement created.

Hawker Beechcraft has had its struggles over the recent years due to the general downturn in aviation. Facing a rougher future with the proposed cuts in the U.S. defense budget it had been reported that the company had recently engaged a law firm known for its work in bankruptcy or restructuring. The decision by the Air Force will only be good if a decision is made to have another contest which there is no guarantee that Hawker will win.

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Air Force Places Light Air Support Program On Hold Due to Protests

The U.S. Air Force had recently awarded their Light Air Support (LAS) contract to a team of Sierra Nevada and Brazil’s Embraer. This over $300 million contract was to buy turboprop aircraft initially for Afghanistan but potentially for use by the U.S. and other countries in a counter insurgency role.

Hawker Beechcraft who had also bid but were eliminated from consideration have sued the Air Force to have the decision reviewed and to get a full explanation as to why they were eliminated. As part of this yesterday the Air Force placed a stop work order on the current contract. Sierra Nevada released a press release about this decision yesterday that is as follows:

“Sierra Nevada Corporation Statement: U.S. Air Force Stop Work Order on Light Air Support Award

SPARKS, Nev., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Sierra Nevada Corporation issued the following statement in response to a stop work order received today from the U.S. Air Force on the recently issued Light Air Support (LAS) contract:

Our team is excited to have been awarded the LAS contract by the U.S. Air Force as a result of a fair and open competition and after a favorable review by the Government Accountability Office.

We remain confident that the issue will resolved expeditiously. These critical LAS capabilities need to be made available soon in order to support our men and women in uniform and our partners in Afghanistan. The A-29 Super Tucano, built in America, is the right solution for the LAS mission.

Sierra Nevada Corporation, a woman owned company, and all our numerous partners across the U.S. who will contribute to this contract stand ready to continue work and to serve our nation by providing the most proven capable light air support aircraft that meets the U.S Air Force’s requirements.”

During a normal protest period the contract is usually placed on hold and the Air Force most likely did this as they expected the Judge in the case to issue such an order momentarily.

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Air Force Light Attack Contract Gets More Curious

Update – Last night Embraer confirmed receipt of the $355 million contract for twenty aircraft and their support.

It came out today as part of Hawker Beechcraft’s suit against the U.S. Air Force over their denied protest about their exclusion from the Light Attack aircraft competition that the contract has been awarded to the team of Sierra Nevada and Brazil’s Embraer. Hawker had submitted a version of their T-6 trainer for an aircraft initially to potentially be used by Afghanistan and the U.S.

The Air Force eliminated the proposal from consideration as not being technically responsive. Hawker protested to the Government Accountability Office ( GAO) but was denied by that agency. Hawker then sued as the next step in the protest process. That case is being expedited by the Federal Court responsible for these cases.

The notice of the award tothe only remaining bidder came without seemingly either public notice by the Defense Department or Congressional notification. This latest move will only further raise questions especially of those in Congress who support Hawker.

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Foreign Fighter Contracts Not Materializing Soon

The Western defense contractors face a shrinking market right now domestically for advanced combat aircraft. The U.S. and many of its Allies are committed to Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and that system will dominate their inventories for the next few decades. The U.S. ended production of the F-22 Raptor by Lockheed and Boeing (BA) and European nations have pretty much finished up ordering Eurofighter Typhoon’s with the United Kingdom even planning retiring some of their older aircraft due to budgetary pressures. France and Sweden have their own domestic aircraft in the Dassault Rafale and SAAB Gripen but have purchased as many of those as they really can.

All of these companies and countries have looked to overseas customers to sell these aircraft with the two biggest deals being for Brazil and India. Unfortunately these contract are not materializing in the near future and may now be pushed out a year or two.

India has planned major upgrades to its military through the purchase of advanced Western systems. This has included aircraft like C-130J transports from Lockheed and P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing (BA) but their cornerstone program was for over a hundred fighters. This contract has been going through the source selection with the competitors from the U.S., Europe and Russia demonstrating their aircraft and at one point was hoped to be awarded this summer. It is now being reported that this major contract won’t be decided until early in 2012.

Brazil has also been planning to expand and improve its military through some deals with overseas suppliers. They too would like to buy a new fighter and that contest has seemed to be between Boeing’s F/A-18 and the Rafale although SAAB bid as well. The original plan was to award this year but due to budget cuts the decision will now be postponed for at least twelve months. There are concerns that it may not happen at all as Brazil had to cut its defense spending significantly.

Finally Dassault had hoped that the U.A.E. might invest in the Rafale as well which so far has yet to find a foriegn buyer. The Emirates already operates French Mirage aircraft and the Rafale would be the logical extension of these. The big arms expo in the U.A.E., IDEX, came and went though without any announcement of a deal although a contract was awarded to upgrade Mirage aircraft worth about $30 million. Failure to win this contract would be a blow to France’s aggressive campaign to sell the fighter to new customers.

It had been hoped that these overseas sales would make up for the decline in U.S. and European defense spending and help keep production lines going and workers employed. Unfortunately they are not materializing as fast as hoped and this may affect different contractor’s plans. The Asian and South American markets were seen as key to keep the defense business going in the next several years. It may be that even these nations who were hoping to improve their military may not have the money necessarily to meet their original plans.

Photo from Jerry Gunner’s flickr photostream.

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