Update on the Brazilian Military

2012-12-14 by Kenneth Maxwell

Brazil’s military has been flexing its muscles recently.

But major problems remain in shaping effective capabilities and an effective role within Brazilian foreign and security policies.

Nonetheless, Brazil is redefining the role of its armed forces and making major decisions on the procurement of new equipment in the face of many unresolved ambiguities.

Operation Atlantico 3 and the Defense of Brazilian Oil Fields

On 29th November 2012, Lucas Vettorazzo, reported in the “Folha de Sao Paulo” on a joint services operation between the Brazilian navy and air force. It was the latest exercise of “Operation Atlantico 3″ and took place a 100 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

During Operation Atlântico III, the Brazilian Armed Forces carry out joint training operations in which military service members simulate a real war scenario, but use blank ammunition. (Photo: Brazilian Ministry of Defense) 

The exercise involved four naval vessels and simulated the bombardment of an “enemy” vessel, the troop carrier, the “Almirante Saboia.” which was escorted by the frigate “Niteroi,” and the corvette, “Barroso.” The fourth naval unit, the  “Amazonas,” was present as a patrol vessel.

The exercise simulated an aerial attack on the “Almirante Saboia” by two AMX fighters of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).

The AMX is a ground attack aircraft built by a joint Brazilian-Italian venture with Embraer.”Operation Atlantico 3″ is part of the defense of the so-called “Blue Amazon,” the term Brazil uses to describe its Atlantic territorial waters, and was intended to demonstrate Brazil’s capacity to defend the “pre-salt” off shore oil fields and petroleum platforms, was well as justifying Brazil’s need for a nuclear powered submarine.

The objective is to train the army, navy and air forces, in joint operations to defend Brazil’s strategic off shore petroleum resources at sea, and on land to defend refineries, ports and airports.

Between the 19th and the 30th of November 2012, according to “Folha,” some 10,000 men from the three services simulated attacks, and the ministry of defense invested R$15 million in “Operation Atlantico 3.”

Embraer as a Key Player

The “Estado de Sao Paulo” reported on 26 November 2012 on Embraer’s intention of entering the military ship building business, and that Embraer had closed a contract with the Brazilian army to implement the first stage of “Sisfron,” (Sistema Integrado de Vigilancia de Fronteiras), a system to monitor Brazil’s vast inland South American frontiers, which will eventually cost R$12 billion.

The first stage, to be carried out by Savis Technologia e Sistemas and OrbiSat, both controlled by Embraer Defesa e Seguranca, and will cost R$839 million (US$ 420 million), which will represent only 6.99% of the total.

It covers 650 kilometers of the frontier between Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul) and Paraguay and Bolivia, and is expected to be completed by 2015. The system will be extended along the frontiers of Brazil through 2022, and will be “the greatest undertaking of its type on the planet,” according to Celso Amorim, the Brazilian defense minister.

Embraer is a Brazilian aerospace conglomerate that produces commercial, military, and executive aircraft.

It was originally a state enterprise, founded in 1969, but the company was privatized in 1994, though the Brazilian government retains a “golden share.” In June 30, 2012, the company’s ownership was held by investors on the New York (30%) and Sao Paulo (33%) stock markets, by Previ, a Brazilian pension fund (9.0%), Blackrock (5%) Oppenheimer Funds (8%), Thomburg (7%) and by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) (5%).

Map of Brazil’s primary offshore oil fields. Credit: http://expatbrazil.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/econ-stuff-brazil-finds-more-oil/ 

Its revenues on September 30, 2012 were 25% from Europe, 23% from Asia-Pacific, 20% from North America, 17% from Brazil, and 11% from Latin America.  67% of its business is in commercial aircraft,14% in executive jets, and 18% in defense and security.

Embraer has for some time used its skills in integrating suppliers in modernizing the Brazilian Air Force’s F5 Northrop fighters, by retaining the structure of the aircraft, but by transforming the electronic components.

Embraer is intending to use its expertise at integrating suppliers around a specific project in the construction of naval craft, and has already begun negotiations with foreign and national shipbuilders.

Embraer aims to participate in the program to re-equip the Brazilian Navy, which had announced that it will require 27 patrol boats, at the cost of R$65 million each. So far only seven of these vessels have been contracted.

This follows the deploying of 9,000 troops last August, equipped with combat helicopters, warships, fighter jets, armored vehicles, and drones, along the frontiers of Brazil with Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay as part of operation “Agata 5.” which had as its objective reinforcing the “presence of the state” in the La Plata and Parana river Basins, and attacking “criminality,” especially the trade in drugs.

Previous operations of “Agata” had taken place on the Bazilian frontier with Colombia.

In advance of the FIFA World Cup, which Brazil will host in 2014, and the Olympic Games, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, security issues are already high on the Brazilian national agenda.

Brazilian Threats and Challenges

Brazil produced a new National Defense Strategy (Estrategia Nacional de Defesa) in 2008, under the auspices of former president Inacio Lula da Silva, his defense minister, Nelson Jobim, and then minister of special strategic projects, Professor Roberto Mangabeira Unger, a Brazilian born Harvard law school professor on leave, and a long time “guru” of the left.

http://www.defesa.gov.br/projetosweb/estrategia/

The document is an odd mix of leftist and traditional military preoccupations, principally concerned with supposed foreign threats to the Amazon from unspecified enemies.

The document, among other priorities, emphasized the development of national sources for military equipment. In 2011 Brazil invested R$ 74 billion in defense, and increase of 23% over the amount invested in 2010.

Defense minister, Celso Amorim says that the greatest threat to Brazil “comes from extra-regional powers that intend to seize control of our natural resources, and that the Brazil needs a credible capacity to prevent this.”

Brazil’s armed forces in 2011 numbered 339,000 in the Navy, Army and Air Force, and cost R$ 46,56 billion, of which R$17.54 billion was for active personnel, and R$ 29.02 billion for retirees.But since 2008 Brazil has become the second major importer of cocaine after the US, with a million users. (There are 1.5 million users in the US).

The need to protect offshore oil fields and to patrol its vast borders are key driving requirements for Brazil. And Embraer is a key company which lies at the vortex of several modernizations. Credit Image: Bigstock

But as cocaine use in the US has diminished the drug traffickers have moved into South Africa, Argentina and Brazil. Brazil has frontiers with three of the major world producers of cocaine, Colombia. Peru and Bolivia, and a long frontier with Paraguay, which is a major route of contraband.

These inland Brazilian frontiers are vast. 

The Mexican frontier with the US is 3,169 kilometers: That between Brazil and its South American neighbors is 17,000 kilometers.

Crack use in Brazil is now a major domestic problem in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian cities. In Sao Paulo, for example, 90 military police have been killed so far this year. In Rio de Janeiro the military has been used to retake (some) of the slums from the narco-traffickers, and a major effort in underway to clean up the city.

This combination of these factors would seem to support increased military involvement.

But Brazil had been slow to react to these new threats, and political opinion in Brazil remains divided. 

Former president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, is a leading supporter of the decriminalization of drugs. The military itself is still distrusted by segments of the civilian population and by politicians who were victims of the long Brazilian military regime which ruled the country from 1963 until 1984, and whose victims included the last two civilian presidents of Brazil, Cardoso and Lula, as well as the current president Dilma Rousseff, who was imprisoned for over a year and was tortured.

A decision over the purchase of a new generation of jet aircraft involving a competition between US, French and Swedish aircraft, has been again postponed.

But action is expected on all these fronts, and in the not to distant future.

http://www.advivo.com.br/blog/luisnassif/a-estrategia-nacional-de-defesa-0

Professor Maxwell retired from Harvard University after a distinguished career as a leading expert on Brazil and Latin American Affairs. Kenneth Maxwell is a historian, an expert in Portuguese and Brazilian History and has taught at and been involved for many years with Harvard University, Yale, Columbia, Princeton and writes a weekly column for Brazil’s popular Folha newspaper. Dr. Maxwell currently lives in Devon, England.

http://www.krmaxwell.com/Kenneth_Maxwell/Home.html

Brazil’s military has been flexing its muscles recently.

But major problems remain in shaping effective capabilities and an effective role within Brazilian foreign and security policies.

Nonetheless, Brazil is redefining the role of its armed forces and making major decisions on the procurement of new equipment in the face of many unresolved ambiguities.

Operation Atlantico 3 and the Defense of Brazilian Oil Fields

On 29th November 2012, Lucas Vettorazzo, reported in the “Folha de Sao Paulo” on a joint services operation between the Brazilian navy and air force. It was the latest exercise of “Operation Atlantico 3″ and took place a 100 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The exercise involved four naval vessels and simulated the bombardment of an “enemy” vessel, the troop carrier, the “Almirante Saboia.” which was escorted by the frigate “Niteroi,” and the corvette, “Barroso.” The fourth naval unit, the “Amazonas,” was present as a patrol vessel.

The exercise simulated an aerial attack on the “Almirante Saboia” by two AMX fighters of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).

The AMX is a ground attack aircraft built by a joint Brazilian-Italian venture with Embraer.

“Operation Atlantico 3″ is part of the defense of the so-called “Blue Amazon,” the term Brazil uses to describe its Atlantic territorial waters, and was intended to demonstrate Brazil’s capacity to defend the “pre-salt” off shore oil fields and petroleum platforms, was well as justifying Brazil’s need for a nuclear powered submarine.

The objective is to train the army, navy and air forces, in joint operations to defend Brazil’s strategic off shore petroleum resources at sea, and on land to defend refineries, ports and airports.

Between the 19th and the 30th of November 2012, according to “Folha,” some 10,000 men from the three services simulated attacks, and the ministry of defense invested R$15 million in “Operation Atlantico 3.”

Embraer as a Key Player

The “Estado de Sao Paulo” reported on 26 November 2012 on Embraer’s intention of entering the military ship building business, and that Embraer had closed a contract with the Brazilian army to implement the first stage of “Sisfron,” (Sistema Integrado de Vigilancia de Fronteiras), a system to monitor Brazil’s vast inland South American frontiers, which will eventually cost R$12 billion.

The first stage, to be carried out by Savis Technologia e Sistemas and OrbiSat, both controlled by Embraer Defesa e Seguranca, and will cost R$839 million (US$ 420 million), which will represent only 6.99% of the total.

It covers 650 kilometers of the frontier between Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul) and Paraguay and Bolivia, and is expected to be completed by 2015. The system will be extended along the frontiers of Brazil through 2022, and will be “the greatest undertaking of its type on the planet,” according to Celso Amorim, the Brazilian defense minister.

Embraer is a Brazilian aerospace conglomerate that produces commercial, military, and executive aircraft.

It was originally a state enterprise, founded in 1969, but the company was privatized in 1994, though the Brazilian government retains a “golden share.” In June 30, 2012, the company’s ownership was held by investors on the New York (30%) and Sao Paulo (33%) stock markets, by Previ, a Brazilian pension fund (9.0%), Blackrock (5%) Oppenheimer Funds (8%), Thomburg (7%) and by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) (5%).

Its revenues on September 30, 2012 were 25% from Europe, 23% from Asia-Pacific, 20% from North America, 17% from Brazil, and 11% from Latin America. 67% of its business is in commercial aircraft,14% in executive jets, and 18% in defense and security.

Embraer has for some time used its skills in integrating suppliers in modernizing the Brazilian Air Force’s F5 Northrop fighters, by retaining the structure of the aircraft, but by transforming the electronic components.

Embraer is intending to use its expertise at integrating suppliers around a specific project in the construction of naval craft, and has already begun negotiations with foreign and national shipbuilders.

Embraer aims to participate in the program to re-equip the Brazilian Navy, which had announced that it will require 27 patrol boats, at the cost of R$65 million each. So far only seven of these vessels have been contracted.

This follows the deploying of 9,000 troops last August, equipped with combat helicopters, warships, fighter jets, armored vehicles, and drones, along the frontiers of Brazil with Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay as part of operation “Agata 5.” which had as its objective reinforcing the “presence of the state” in the La Plata and Parana river Basins, and attacking “criminality,” especially the trade in drugs.

Previous operations of “Agata” had taken place on the Bazilian frontier with Colombia.

In advance of the FIFA World Cup, which Brazil will host in 2014, and the Olympic Games, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, security issues are already high on the Brazilian national agenda.

Brazilian Threats and Challenges

Brazil produced a new National Defense Strategy (Estrategia Nacional de Defesa) in 2008, under the auspices of former president Inacio Lula da Silva, his defense minister, Nelson Jobim, and then minister of special strategic projects, Professor Roberto Mangabeira Unger, a Brazilian born Harvard law school professor on leave, and a long time “guru” of the left.

http://www.defesa.gov.br/projetosweb/estrategia/

The document is an odd mix of leftist and traditional military preoccupations, principally concerned with supposed foreign threats to the Amazon from unspecified enemies.

The document, among other priorities, emphasized the development of national sources for military equipment. In 2011 Brazil invested R$ 74 billion in defense, and increase of 23% over the amount invested in 2010.

Defense minister, Celso Amorim says that the greatest threat to Brazil “comes from extra-regional powers that intend to seize control of our natural resources, and that the Brazil needs a credible capacity to prevent this.”

Brazil’s armed forces in 2011 numbered 339,000 in the Navy, Army and Air Force, and cost R$ 46,56 billion, of which R$17.54 billion was for active personnel, and R$ 29.02 billion for retirees.

The latest discovery follows a series of smaller discoveries along a 500-mile offshore region and a huge 2007 find at Tupi, the largest discovery in the Americas since Mexico’s legendary 1976 find, discovered by a fisherman, Rudesindo Cantarell. 

But since 2008 Brazil has become the second major importer of cocaine after the US, with a million users. (There are 1.5 million users in the US).

But as cocaine use in the US has diminished the drug traffickers have moved into South Africa, Argentina and Brazil. Brazil has frontiers with three of the major world producers of cocaine, Colombia. Peru and Bolivia, and a long frontier with Paraguay, which is a major route of contraband.

These inland Brazilian frontiers are vast.

The Mexican frontier with the US is 3,169 kilometers: That between Brazil and its South American neighbors is 17,000 kilometers.

Crack use in Brazil is now a major domestic problem in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian cities. In Sao Paulo, for example, 90 military police have been killed so far this year. In Rio de Janeiro the military has been used to retake (some) of the slums from the narco-traffickers, and a major effort in underway to clean up the city.

This combination of these factors would seem to support increased military involvement.

But Brazil had been slow to react to these new threats, and political opinion in Brazil remains divided.

Former president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, is a leading supporter of the decriminalization of drugs. The military itself is still distrusted by segments of the civilian population and by politicians who were victims of the long Brazilian military regime which ruled the country from 1963 until 1984, and whose victims included the last two civilian presidents of Brazil, Cardoso and Lula, as well as the current president Dilma Rousseff, who was imprisoned for over a year and was tortured.

A decision over the purchase of a new generation of jet aircraft involving a competition between US, French and Swedish aircraft, has been again postponed.

But action is expected on all these fronts, and in the not to distant future.

Credit Image Above:

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Brazil_reports_huge_deepwater_oil_field_999.html

For further on the fighter competition:

http://www.advivo.com.br/blog/luisnassif/a-estrategia-nacional-de-defesa-0

Professor Maxwell recently retired from Harvard University after a distinguished career as a leading expert on Brazil and Latin American Affairs. Kenneth Maxwell is a historian, an expert in Portuguese and Brazilian History and has taught at and been involved for many years with Harvard University, Yale, Columbia, Princeton and writes a weekly column for Brazil’s popular Folha newspaper. Dr. Maxwell currently lives in Devon, England.

http://www.krmaxwell.com/Kenneth_Maxwell/Home.html

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsdyyd_brazil-military-masses-against-drug-trafficking_news#.UMSTCrYVxV0


Brazil military masses against drug trafficking by aljazeeraenglish

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