São José dos Campos, Brazil, February 19, 2001 – Two Northrop F-5 aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) landed today (Monday) at 11 a.m. to initiate a modernization and re-equipping program. The program denominated F-5BR and recently approved by the Federal Senate, will be carried out by Embraer under the supervision of the Air Force command.
Budgeted for US$ 285 million, the project involves 47 aircraft, including the, F-5E single seat and F-5F twin seat models, of one and two places, respectively. Each aircraft will receive a new avionics package, as onboard electronic are called in aeronautical jargon, that will include systems for navigation/armaments, aiming/self defense, computers and multi-mode radar. They will also be given structural improvements and their armaments will be standardized with other FAB weapons.
Developed together with Elbit, of Israel, a company that specializes in the development of avionics for the defense market, the F-5BR program will be carried out over the next five years.
The F-5 aircraft that landed in São José dos Campos came from the Canoas Air Base in Rio Grande do Sul and belongs to the “Pampa” Squadron.
The Northrop F-5E and F-5F were incorporated into FAB at the beginning of the 1970s. They are being modernized in order to ensure another 15 years of F-5BR operational life. “This is the Brazilian Air Force’s first modernization and re-equipping program, for which Embraer is paying special attention for all that it represents for both FAB and our company. We are very proud to be able to supply this service in the area of air defense for the Brazilian government, with inestimable assistance from Elbit,” said Romualdo Barros, Embraer Vice President for the Defense Market, moments before the arrival of the two aircraft.