LAAD11: Latin America’s biggest arms bazaar in photos

There is a kind of beautiful disorganization at this bustling arms trade exhibition in Rio de Janeiro. Sure, my taxi driver is instructed by gate guards to drop me off next to a garbage dump behind the convention center, but security lets me walk through the exhibit hall hours before it opens — and even before I’ve collected my press pass! And, yes, the press room is cramped and crowded, but it’s left shockingly unlocked overnight, allowing early-risers like myself access to a decent internet connection and all the bottled water I can drink! 

Without further ado, here are photo highlights of my favorite Latin American arms bazaar.

1. Dassault’s futuristic stealth bomber:

It’s only an artist’s concept, but this vision (see bottom left-corner, below) of a French fifth-generation strike aircraft definitely caught my attention. The slide appeared during Dassault’s press briefing on the Rafale. I didn’t have my best camera, it was a dark room, and I had a bad angle, so this is the best I could do with the image. It makes you wonder what else Dassault is thinking about after the Rafale and the unmanned nEUROn demonstrator.

Rafale next gen slide thumb.jpg

2. Brazil’s scramjet-powered, hypersonic waverider:

This is no scale-model. It’s a full-scale mock-up of the 14-X, which the Brazilian air force’s research laboratory hopes to launch for the first time in 2013. Read my news article for more details about this fascinating project.

DSC01954 thumb.JPGDSC01952 thumb.JPG3. Foliage-penetrator UAV

The US is apparently not the only country with a foliage penetration radar. OrbiSat, which has been acquired recently by Embraer, has been flying the SARVANT unmanned air vehicle for about three years on plantation surveying missions. The 140kg UAV with 20h endurance is packaged with a 35kg synthetic aperture radar with X- and P-band scan modes.

DSC01914 thumb.JPG4. Is this Brazil’s future hunter-killer UAV?

I still haven’t received details about this project, but AviBras’ signage indicates that the Brazilian air force has funded development of the Falcao UAV. Local news reports have said the Falcao’s first flight should be this month, but I have not been able to confirm that with AviBras or the Brazilian air force. It’s presented as a surveillance-only UAV, but I suspect there are a few hard points inside the wing.

DSC01926 thumb.JPG

DSC01923 thumb.JPG5. Finally … Just for fun!

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15 Responses to LAAD11: Latin America’s biggest arms bazaar in photos

  1. Dude 14 April, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Interesting. Which jet’s flight simulator was that in the last picture, by the way?

  2. Looping 14 April, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    The first picture, it looks like a “petit duc”. One of the prototype for nEURON.

  3. Marauder1024 14 April, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Is that the F-35 simulator you are so elegantly operating?

  4. aeroxavier 14 April, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    this is not really one 5th gen fighter, that’s just one bomber no ?
    Wait paris air show…just better

  5. mrmalaya 14 April, 2011 at 4:48 pm #


    its hard to tell but did the French Stealth airframe have a cockpit or is it an image of one of their early UCAV designs?

  6. Eamon Hamilton 15 April, 2011 at 4:00 am #

    What’re you riding in there, a Super Hornet? If only fighter pilots could fly along with an arm out the window – something we lament with the retirement of our DHC-4 Caribous in 2009!

  7. aeroxavier 15 April, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    can be happy, you have one small sex (cockpit of the f-35)

  8. raf 16 April, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    For the fun, rafale simulator

    yeah !

  9. Guilherme Poggio 23 April, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    The last picture is a Super Hornet flight simulator with a PCD (panoramic cockpit display). It can be retrofit on any other Super Hornet and could be offered to Brazil if Boeing wins the F-X2 contend (

    The AVIBRAS’ Falcao (‘Falcon’) UAV should take the air for the very first time next july. But this will not haven in são Jose dos Campos, were they have . An Embraer’s airfield located in Gaviao Peixoto is the most probable place to chosen.

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