Embraer’s ability to design and deliver EMB 145 AEW&C aerial surveillance jets to Brazil’s FAB and foreign customers places Brazil within an elite group of countries. The FAB’s 5 “E-99” jets play a critical role in the SIVAM program to monitor the Amazon, provide security overwatch for major sporting events like the coming 2014 FIFA World Cup, and serve as a global showpiece for potential customers. They survey and manage air traffic, provide fighter positioning and interception control, and can conduct signals interception and analysis (SIGINT) missions.
In January 2013, Embraer received a $215 million (BRL 430 million) contract to upgrade the FAB’s 5 E-99s…
The aircraft will receive updated communications systems and electronics, improved electronic warfare and countermeasures systems, and enhancements to Saab’s Erieye AESA surveillance radar. Embraer subsidiary Atech will also participate, developing some of the electronics improvements, and delivering 6 mission planning and analysis training stations.
Note that Mectron’s datalinks program is considered to be a separate activity. It will swap the E-99 fleet’s existing platform-unique BR1 datalinks for service-wide BR2 datalinks, and aims to begin flying on 2 FAB E-99s by 2016. Brazil’s modernized AMX A-1M fighters already include an earlier version of BR2, and 2016 testing with the upgraded version will also include Brazil’s F-5M fighter jets and A-29 Super Tucano turboprops.