Aviación Naval de la Armada / Naval Aviation
After years of intense rivalry between the navy and the air force for the control of naval aviation, President Castelo Branco decreed in 1965 that only the air force would be allowed to operate fixed-wing aircraft and that the navy would be responsible for helicopters. According to many critics, such an unusual division of labor caused serious command and control problems. The complement of aircraft carried by the Minas Gerais included at one point six Grumman S-2E antisubmarine planes, in addition to several SH-3D Sea King helicopters and Aérospatiale Super Puma and HB-350 Esquilo helicopters.
In accordance with the Castelo Branco compromise, the S-2E aircraft were flown by air force pilots and the helicopters by navy pilots. A crew of the Minas Gerais with full air complement consisted of 1,300 officers and enlisted personnel. As of late 2002, the Navy had reportedly become responsible for flying all aircraft with the rivalry having subsided between the two branches of the armed forces.
Until the 1980s, the flagship of the ocean-going navy was the aircraft carrier Minas Gerais (the ex-British H.M.S. Vengeance ), which has been in service since 1945. Purchased from Britain in 1956, the Minas Gerais was reconstructed in the Netherlands in 1960 and refitted extensively in Brazil in the late 1970s, and again in 1993. In 1994 Mário César Flores, a former minister of navy, declared in an interview that the navy would be hard-pressed to defend the Minas Gerais in a conflict.
While the Minas Gerais was not considered likely to be replaced until the next century, it was nonetheless decommissioned in 2001 following the purchase of the French Aircraft Carrier Foch. The Foch, upon entering service with the Brazilian Navy, was renamed the São Paulo. It operates A-4KU. With no assistance to preserve her in the UK, the ship was towed to Alang in India and was scrapped 2004-5.
The navy's priority reequipment plans for the 1990s included the acquisition of nine new Super Lynx and up to six former United States Navy Sikorsky SH-3G/H Sea King helicopters. The navy procured 23 A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft from Kuwait and bought the former French aircraft carrier Foch, renamed the Sao Paulo. Several pilots have already become carrier qualified in the US. The Navy is sending on average two officers a year for flight training. In March 2004, the navy signed an LOA for the FMS LINK 11 case to upgrade their secure communications.
The MB has bought eight units of the C-1 Trader for missions COD / AAR. These units will be delivered from 2012. At the moment, the MB is finalizing the acquisition of 4 S-2G Tracker that will be transformed into AEW aircraft. A second batch of 4 S-2G should be engaged in this decade. Two years after the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) decides what fighter / attack to buy, the MB will buy 24 units of the same model to operate in the future aircraft carrier. A second and a third batch of 4 Sea Hawk helicopters would be purchased through 2031. Of the 16 Super Cougar to be delivered, 8 will be restricted to transportation and 8 will be used for attack missions, armed with missile AM-39 Block 2.
In December 2008, Brazil placed a €1.9bn ($2.72bn) order for 50 EC 725 helicopters - 16 for the navy, 16 for the army and 18 for the air force. The helicopters are being manufactured in Brazil by Eurocopter's subsidiary Helibras. The first three EC 725 helicopters were delivered to Brazil in December 2010. By 2011 four of the 50 rotorcraft ordered had been delivered - one each to the air force, army and navy, with the other for use as a VIP transport. Brazil's armed forces were set to receive a further three Eurocopter EC725s in 2012, with each service again to receive a single unit. Deliveries were to increase to eight in 2013 and 13 the following year. Deliveries are scheduled for completion by 2016. As part of the agreement, these helicopters are to progressively include 50 percent Brazilian-made content. A state-of-the-art assembly facility created by Helibras at Itajubá will produce the EC725s, along with EC225 civilian versions for the regional marketplace.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced June 20, 2011 at the Paris Air Show that the Brazilian Navy has signed an agreement with the U.S. Government to acquire two additional Sikorsky S-70B™ maritime helicopters via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process. In 2010, the Brazilian Navy contracted for four S-70B aircraft, also through the FMS system, with deliveries starting in December 2011 and continuing through the end of the First Quarter of 2012. Sikorsky expected contract finalization for the additional two aircraft in 2012. The multi-role S-70B SEAHAWK™ helicopter can perform anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions, among others. The new SEAHAWK helicopters will replace the current SH-3 fleet.
On 18 December 2008, President Lula signed the National Defense Strategy, concluding a fifteen month drafting exercise. It stated that "Naval Aviation, embarked in ships, will be one of the links between the preliminary stage of combat, under the responsibility of the underwater force and of its space and air counterparts, and the subsequent stage, conducted with the full engagement of the naval surface force. The Navy will work along with the national defense industry to develop a versatile defense and attack aircraft, which could maximizes the defensive and offensive air potential of the Naval Force."
Grumman S-2G Tracker (AEW - Airborne Early Warning)
The Navy studyied two possible platforms for their future AEW: a helicopter adapted in the mold of British Sea King AEW and a conventional aircraft that could be the Breguet 1050 Alizé, taken out of service by the French navy in 2000, or Grumman S-2 Tracker or its AEW version of the E-1 Tracer. The S-2 would remotorized, changing piston engine for a turboprop. The EMBRAER submitted a proposal to use the aircraft for AEW, Maritime Patrol, COD and refueling.
Without these aircraft, the Navy would be dependent on the radars of ships for aerial search volume and vectoring interception. To get an idea of ??the advantage of this type of aircraft is just keep in mind that the horizon radar ships is about 40km against aircraft or missile at low altitude as a platform radar 3,000m height can detect aircraft and missiles flying down to 220km. The need for an AEW aircraft was one of the lessons learned by the British soon adapted their Sea King helicopters to this mission. Without the AEW aircraft, the British convoys had to be exposed to radar picket the distance from the GT and the HMS Sheffield was sunk in this situation. The use of aircraft as radar surveillance means also helps in defending the GT to prevent ships emit with their radars and provide information that can report their position to the enemy.
The navy's prime concern remained finding airborne early warning assets for the aircraft carrier São Paulo. The navy intended to inspect four stored Uruguayan navy Grumman S-2G Trackers, in the hope of obtaining the aircraft and again having Embraer fit them with TP331-14Gs. Embraer had previously looked at the Eliradar HEW-784 and Thales Searchwater 2000AEW for development of a Tracker-based AEW platform. These aircraft would feature three mission stations, Link 11, ESM, plus new avionics and communications/navigation suites.
By June 2010 the Navy of Brazil seemed very close to completing the very long process of getting the carrier aircraft Grumman S-2 to be operated by the new Squadron VR-1. Four S-2 Tracker cells with radial engines were obtained in Australia to modify to S-2T with turboprop engines Garrett. The Royal Australian Navy deployed two squadrons of S-2E and S-2G (VS-816 and VC-851) between the years 1967 and 1984. The work would be done leading expert in this type of conversion in the world, the American company Marsh Aviation. Marsh had already inspected these aircraft and pronounced favorably for use. Another S-2 from the Uruguayan Armada would also be acquired as a source of parts, along with a lot of spare parts for S-2 that that force had in its inventory. The former Australian Trackers will receive new radar systems, navigation and communication and will to carry out the mission of AEW - Airborne Early Warning for the Task Group of São Paulo.
In August 2010 the Brazilian navy acquired eight Grumman C-1A Traders for extensive modification to perform carrier on-board delivery and air refuelling roles. The last C-1A was retired from US Navy service in 1988, so the aircraft initially underwent overhaul in the USA to restore them to airworthiness. They were then ferried to Brazil's São Pedro da Aldeia naval air base.
Embraer was to replace the C-1As' original Wright R-1820 piston engines with Honeywell TP331-14GR turboprops and Hartzell five-bladed propellers. Embraer was also expected to receive a contract covering airframe overhaul and installation of updated avionics for six of the aircraft. Two were to be modified to fit them for air refuelling duties for the navy's McDonnell Douglas A-4KU/TA-4KU Skyhawks. Including the US Foreign Military Sales contract purchase price of $234,000 for all six aircraft, with all modifications the total cost per airframe came to $3.5-4 million.
Modernization Contract Of Aircraft COD / ARR was signed on October 20, 2011, in Rio de Janeiro, between the Department of Aeronautics Navy (DAerM) and the company Marsh Aviation Company, based in Mesa, Arizona, USA , the contract No. 43000 / 2011-11 / 00 allusive to upgrading / repowering / reconfiguration of four (4) C-1A Trader aircraft to the standard Carrier-on-Board Delivery / Air-to-Air Refueling (COD / AAR) KC -2 Turbo Trader. The contract will last approximately four years, and was expected to deliver the 1st aircraft in April 2014 and the 4th aircraft in October 2015.
On November 7, 2014, in Rio de Janeiro, the Director of Aeronautics Navy (DAerM), Rear Admiral Carlos Frederico Carneiro Primo, representing the Navy of Brazil, President and Head of Business Operations Marsh Aviation Company, Charles P. Stanford, Jr. and Vice President of Elbit Systems of America LLC / M7 Aerospace LLC, Paul Mc Bride signed the Addendum (TA) to the Modernization Agreement and repowering of C-1A Trader Aircraft. This adjustment in the original contract allowed Marsh Aviation (MA) compliance of recommendations made by the US Department of State (DOS) upon approval of the "Technical Assistance Agreement" (TAA), which is a Technical Cooperation Agreement allows the company determined to continue the modernization contracts and Aircraft repowering, in the case of the Navy of Brazil (MB) C-1A Trader (COD / AAR project).
Elbit Systems Ltd Israel announced on that its US subsidiary was subcontracted by the Navy of Brazil for the modernization of four Grumman C-1A Trader aircraft. The prime contractor for the program is the Marsh Aviation Company, headquartered in Mesa, Arizona State (USA). Valued at $ 106 million, subcontracting Elbit Systems of America will last a period of five years. The modernization work will be developed in San Antonio, Texas, at the premises of M7 Aerospace, under the supervision of officers of the Navy of Brazil. Upon completion of the process, C-1A will receive the K-2 designation COD / AAR (Carrier-On-Board / Air-to-Air Refueling) and will operate aboard the aircraft carrier aircraft carrier São Paulo. The modernization of C-1A of Brazil's Navy will include replacement of the radial engines explosion turboprops thrusters, installation and integration of digital onboard avionics (including glass cockpit), advanced generation communications systems, environmental control systems (ECS as acronym English) and refueling system air-air.
The flight of the first prototype is scheduled for November 2017 and the delivery of the first KC-2 aircraft in Brazil is scheduled for December 2018. The future receipt of these upgraded aircraft will mark a new operating standard for the Navy of Brazil, as to have the ability to operate from aircraft carrier, will allow logistic support to the police station, both in the area of ??personnel and material, as well as in-flight refueling of aircraft AF-1 / 1A "Skyhawk".
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