Making its Paris debut in the static display is a Swiss air force Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma that has undergone the TH06 ISR upgrade by Ruag Aviation (Chalet A118, Static R). The Swiss company has designed and installed a major avionics overhaul that allows the Super Puma fleet to continue to provide service for many years to come.
Brazilian Air Force
Brazil has long been known as the home of Embraer, which continues to vie for the rank of the world’s third-largest commercial aircraft producer behind Boeing and Airbus. Although the rest of the country’s aerospace and defense sector has tended to lag well behind the U.S. and Europe, the situation may be about to change.
Embraer (Chalet B387) is showing a Super Tucano in the static park here for the first time. “This aircraft has a great future; air forces from all over the world have been asking us about it since we won the U.S. Air Force competition,” Embraer Defense and Security CEO Luiz Carlos Aguiar told AIN. Also here at Paris, Aguiar is promising a new announcement about the KC-390, the Brazilian design that could be a serious competitor in the future market for airlifters.
At the Latin American Aerospace and Defense (LAAD) Show, Embraer announced a new customer for the EMB-314 Super Tucano. The Senegalese Air Force signed a contract for three aircraft and in-country training of pilots and mechanics by Embraer. Senegal will use the aircraft for border surveillance and internal security. The deal takes the number of the type ordered to 210.
Vector Aerospace Financial Services Ireland (VFS) is offering the medium- to heavy-lift market a fleet of customized Super Puma AS332Ls, including leasing and by-the-hour support. The offer is targeting the UN, NATO and EU markets. VFS was formed last year by Vector Aerospace, a provider of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul services, to provide combined lease and support solutions.
Embraer Defense and Security and AEL Systems, the Brazilian subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems, signed an agreement to accept unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) developer Avibras as a shareholder in their UAS-focused joint venture, Harpia Systems.
AgustaWestland is making a new push into South America. The Italian helicopter maker, part of the defense and industrial conglomerate Finmeccanica, signed a memorandum of understanding on January 21 to establish a joint venture with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to build AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil for both the domestic and regional military and civilian markets.
Eurocopter is now anticipating that a solution to the main gearbox problem that has grounded the North Sea fleet of EC225s will be available in April. According to Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling, the solution will at least be a “safety barrier.”
Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has a corporate culture that emphasizes giving back, and some 1,600 graduates of its Colégio Embraer Juarez Wanderley, in São Jose dos Campos, are evidence that the industry–and the company–benefit from the effort. With that in mind, the company is opening its second school, in Botucatu.
With an eye to increased air traffic with soccer’s FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016, Brazil’s air navigation service provider DECEA (Departamento de Control do Espaço Aéreo) is upgrading its technology.