Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and its Brazilian partner Avionics Services have shifted their marketing efforts in an attempt to sell the Heron 1-derived Caçador unmanned air vehicle to the civil market.

The Brazilian defence ministry in March 2017 approved the Caçador as a so-called strategic defence product, following a series of flight tests conducted in different regions of the country. However, ongoing economic problems in Brazil have delayed an expected request for proposals for the acquisition of medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs for its armed forces.

Since signing a co-operation agreement four years ago, IAI and Avionics Services have established a UAV centre at Botucatu airfield to support the pursuit of Brazilian business opportunities.

“Brazil is a huge country and there are needs to monitor big areas, for example, those that are used for agriculture," says Avi Blesser, vice-president marketing and sales of IAI's military aircraft group. "We think that the civil market has a chance to get out of the economic crisis before the defence sector."