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Embraer Delivers Last Modernised F-5FM to FAB

Service Life Extended 15-20 Years

Embraer has delivered the last of 49 modernised F-5FM TIGER II fighters to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), featuring new electronic systems, multifunction displays, electronic countermeasures, a new multi-mode radar, and the ability to employ more modern weaponry, all integrated and managed by embedded software and mission computers.

The F-5BR modernisation programme was only authorised in 2000, under a $285 million (€235 million) contract for 46 aircraft. In April 2011, an additional US $ 87 million contract was signed for the upgrade of eight single-seat F-5Es and three two-seat F-5Fs purchased from Jordan in 2007. The first ex-Jordanian F-5FM was delivered in October 2014 and the second in December 2017. Subsequently, the modernisation contract was reduced to only the three F-5F aircraft, instead of the 11 originally planned.

The modernisation was conducted by Embraer at its Gavião Peixoto facilities and also involved Elbit Systems, Honeywell (inertial navigation platform), Galileo (multimode radar) and Elisra, for the radar warning receiver. The F-5BR programme made the F-5E/F compatible with the A-29 SUPER TUCANO and A-1M (a modernised AMX), a measure of standardisation that has reduced maintenance costs. The programme ensures the continued availability of the F-5 fleet for a further 15-20 years, a timeframe considered necessary to ensure full operational availability of the GRIPEN fleet now under construction.

Employing state-of-the-art technology and featuring digital displays, the cockpit of the new F-5M provides for low pilot workload. This includes HOTAS controls and two high-performance computers, an integrated INS/GPS navigation system, three multifunctional colour displays and a HUD. All F-5M lighting and display systems are designed for use with night vision goggles. The aircraft also incorporates a helmet with Elbit’s DASH helmet mounted display, data link, mission planning system, and virtual flight training capability, Elisra’s RWR, Rohde & Schwarz M3AR (6000 Series) V/UHF digital radios, which can securely receive/transmit voice and data.

The aircraft are rated for the FAB’s existing arsenal, such as the PYTHON III and IV short-range and DERBY medium-range air-to-air missiles, as well as gravity or laser-guided bombs, and rockets. In addition, they have FIAR FRIFO-F Doppler radar with multiple air-to-air, air-to-ground and anti-ship operating modes, highly resistant to jamming and spoofing. Its range is 56km for contacts at the same altitude, 37km for look-down contacts and 110-148km for maritime targets.

Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy in Buenos Aires for MON

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