The companies will prepare two prototype aircraft to support the modernisation programme, says Ran Hellerstein, executive vice-president of Elbit Systems - Aerospace, who adds: "Work starts immediately". If successful, the work will lead to a follow-on production contract likely to be worth around $120 million to Elbit and to run through 2014.
Elbit and its wholly owned Brazilian subsidiary Aeroelectronica (AEL) will supply a new main mission computer and weapons management system for the modernised AMX fleet, plus replacement cockpit displays and other undisclosed equipment. Elbit's Israeli subsidiary Elisra Electronic Systems will provide new electronic warfare equipment under subcontract to AEL.
Signed on 10 November, the AMX deal follows earlier collaboration between Embraer and Elbit on the Brazilian air force's Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano trainer/light attack aircraft and Northrop F-5BR fighter upgrade.
Brazil's active AMX inventory totals 60 A/T-model aircraft, according to Flight's MiliCAS database. The type is also in service with the Italian air force.