Embraer Defense & Security redelivered the first modernized A-1M (AMX) fighter jet to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). The modernization of the A-1 (built during the 1980s under a Brazilian-Italian cooperation) include structural refurbishment extending the fighter’s operational life through 2025. The modernization was performed at Embraer’s industrial plant in Gavião Peixoto, in São Paulo. The A-1M program provides for refurbishing and modernizing 43 subsonic AMX jets, 16 of which are already at the Company’s facilities.
The A-1M fighter jet serves the FAB mainly in the ground attack role, performing air-to-ground attack, bombing, tactical air support and reconnaissance missions. “The A-1 fighter jets are fundamental elements for the defense of Brazil, including its territorial coastal waters. We have been very successful in using this aircraft on such highly complex operations as the Cruzex and Red Flag exercises. Its modernization presents a big gain in capability, along with adequate cost-benefit, and, once again, it shows the value of the Nation’s industry” Aeronautics Commander, Air Force General Juniti Saito commented.
It also includes a comprehensive avionics upgrade, upgrading the jet’s navigation, weaponry, oxygen generation, radar and electronic countermeasures (ECM) capabilities. The avionic upgrade will streamlining the A-1 with F-5M and A-29 Super Tucanos operating with the FAB. According to Embraer, such standardization assists with the adaptation period of the pilots, improved fleet management policy, better output in terms of flight hours, and reduced maintenance and operating costs. The program also includes the delivery of mission planning and debriefing stations, to be deployed at the squadron level, supporting training and improving pilot proficiency.
PZL-Świdnik, and Agusta-Westland have introduced the SW-4 SOLO Rotorcraft Unmanned Aerial System (RUAS) based on the PZL’s SW-4 light single engine helicopter. The unmanned ‘Optionally Piloted Helicopter’ (OPH) variant of the helicopter was displayed this week at the MSPO exhibition in Kielce, Poland. SOLO is based on a close collaboration between PZL-Świdnik and AgustaWestland.
The system will be used under the RWUAS (Rotary Wing Unmanned Air System) Capability Concept Demonstrator (CCD) programme, pursued by the Royal Navy, evaluating the utility of a conceptual multi-role UAV for the UK Royal Navy. A contract covering this evaluation has been awarded to AgustaWestland by the UK Ministry of Defence. The SW-4 SOLO is powered by a single
The SW-4 has entered operational service with the Polish Armed Forces in 2002. Photo: PZL-Świdnik[/caption]Allison 250C20R/2 turboshaft engine driving a three blade main rotor and two blade tail rotor. This engine delivers a maximum power of 335kW (450shp) (283kW/380shp max continuous rated.) The maximum takeoff weight is 1.8 tons (3,968 lbs).
Designed for both unmanned and piloted operations, SW-4 SOLO would provide users with maximum operational flexibility, performing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, missions as well as cargo re-supply at sea. In piloted configuration, the SW-4 can undertake a number of activities, including transportation of personnel, surveillance and intervention. It can be fitted with a comprehensive mission equipment package, including search, communications/intelligence systems and armament. As an optionally piloted platform, the helicopter can carry a pilot and four passengers, for utility transport and training. The SW-4 helicopter made its first flight in 1996 and was introduced into operational service with the Polish Armed Force in 2002. The SW-4 RUAS prototype was announced in 2010. The first prototype was displayed in public 2012 and was expected to fly in the piloted configuration in that year, moving to unmanned flight in 2013. However, until early September 2013 no announcements on such milestones have been released.