South America’s massive re-armament — some say arms race — has spotlighted the continent’s dormant defense industry. As Forecast International analyst Rebecca Barrett told Flight International last spring, native arms suppliers — Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina, Brazil’s Embraer and Chile’s Enaer — play only bit roles in the recent build-up.
“As a result, the Latin American market is dominated by the French, Israelis, Russians and, where foreign policy allows, the USA,” Flight reported.
It’s now become clear that Brazil wants to change all of that. In September, Brasilia committed to rebuild its defense industrial base, with its upcoming fighter contract paving the way for technology transfer.
More recently, Brazil has proposed [Warning: Portugese-language link; use Google translator] a new organization called South America Defense to coordinate and revitalize the arms industry across the region. In a recent speech, here’s how Brazil Minister of Defense Nelson Jobim proposed divvying up the industry.
- Argentina: Uniforms
- Paraguay: Ammunition
- Colombia: Armor
- Venezuela: Armor
- Chile: Aircraft components
- Brazil: Aircraft