Brazil signs AEW modernisation deal

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Brazil's air force has selected Embraer's Le Bourget-based subsidiary Embraer Aviation International to modernise its fleet of five EMB-145-derived E-99 airborne early warning and control system aircraft.

Valued at almost $114 million and contracted in late December, the programme is primarily aimed at updating the surveillance aircraft's onboard mission sensors. It also follows the 6 December award of a deal with Brazil's Mectron that covers the development of the Link BR2 data link system. This will equip the modernised E-99s as of 2016, along with the service's modernised Northrop F-5EM, Embraer/Aermacchi A-1M and Embraer A-29 Super Tucano combat aircraft.

The air force has refrained from providing further details regarding the E-99 modernisation programme. However, Brazilian sources indicate that the aircraft will receive enhancements to its electronic warfare and electronic support measures suites and command and control systems, plus updates to its Saab Microwave Systems PS-890 Erieye surveillance radar.

Update: Saab subsequently confirmed its involvement in the project as being worth SKr380 million ($59.3 million), and said work linked to the radar system upgrade will be completed between 2014 and 2017.