26 Apr 2013 By Arie Egozi - FG
Tel Aviv - The Brazilian navy has begun to evaluate unmanned air systems for its missions. The two current options are the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 and Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1, both of which are already in service in Brazil in other configurations.
Elbit and IAI have already developed maritime versions of these two types equipped with a maritime search radar and electro-optical/infrared sensors, and Brazil's navy now wants to field its own maritime configuration.
The Brazilian air force's Horus squadron is operating its first two Hermes 450 systems from Santa Maria air base in Rio Grande do Sul, while the nation's federal police flies the Heron 1 from the Parana district. The type is mainly performing missions as part of an effort to fight drug trafficking.
According to the Brazilian police, four bases will be equipped with UAS by 2014.
Meanwhile, in preparations for Brazil hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the nation's defence ministry has dispatched 7,500 troops to its northwestern borders with Peru and Bolivia in an effort to stop cross-border crime.