EMB-145 aircraft

Embraer Aviation International has been awarded a contract to modernise the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB) EMB-145 airborne early warning and control system (AEW&C), designated E-99, aircraft fleet.

Under the terms of the $114m contract, the company will primarily upgrade onboard mission sensors of five aircraft, as reported by Flight Global.

The latest award follows a contract signed between FAB and Mectron for development and delivery of the Link BR2 data link system for installation on the upgraded E-99 aircraft in December 2012.

As part of the contract, different versions of the data link system will also be integrated into the air force’s Northrop Grumman-built F-5EM, Embraer/Aermacchi A-1M, as well as A-29 Super Tucano combat aircraft by 2016, to provide soldiers with secure communications in theatre.

The E-99 modernisation is expected to include upgrades to the aircraft’s electronic warfare and electronic support measures suites and command and control systems, as well its Saab Microwave Systems PS-890 Erieye surveillance radar system, but the air force has refused to disclose further details regarding the programme.

Powered by Rolls-Royce AE 3007 turbofan engines, the EMB-145 AEW&C is a derivative of Embraer ERJ-145 regional jetliner, featuring reinforced airframe, new navigation and communication systems, as well as an enhanced auxiliary power unit and increased fuel capacity.

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Primarily operated by FAB for environmental protection and natural resources survey, the five aircraft are also used for border surveillance from the Annapolis air force base, as part of the Amazon Surveillance System programme.

The aircraft is also used by the Hellenic, Indian and Mexican air forces.

Image: The Brazilian Air Force operates five EMB-145-derived E-99 AEW&C aircraft. Photo: file image.