Protecting Brazil’s off shore natural resources

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17997286_sIsraeli companies are offering Brazil systems to defend its off shore assets. Brazil is working towards increasing its surveillance management capabilities. The Blue Amazon management system, dubbed Sistema de Gerenciamento da Amazonia Azul (SisGAAz), or more informally known as Blue Amazon, is a $4 billion programme the Brazilian Navy is overseeing to help defend its coastline and protect its offshore assets.

The Brazilian Armed Forces patrol 4.4 million square kilometers of territorial waters and has a maritime salvage area which is one and half times the size of its land mass.

With vast petroleum and gas deposits, as well as valuable mineral reserves, the Blue Amazon – which is what the Brazilian Navy calls the area of sea that it’s responsible for – is a vital strategic and economic resource for the South American giant.

The goal of the SisGAAz programme will be to contribute to Brazil’s strategic mobility capabilities and allow it to act against any threats. The programme will integrate a number of technologies and platforms, such as software defined radios, satellite communications, and long range radar while boasting a submarine acoustic sensing fixed network. It will integrate into the country’s Command and Control Naval System.

Simultaneously the Brazilian Army is working on its own network called the System for the Surveillance of the Frontier (SISFRON), which will cost up to $7 billion.

Companies from Brazil’s booming defence industry are scrambling to work on the surveillance programmes. Brazil’s biggest defence name, Embraer, made a number of acquisitions recently including unmanned air vehicle manufacturer and sensor developer OrbiSat.

Aside from protecting its offshore oil assets, which are reportedly enormous, Brazil is also hosting the World Cup next year and the Olympics in 2016, meaning its surveillance and security capabilities will be under scrutiny.

Israel aerospace industries (IAI), has identified the potential in Brazil and other countries in Latin America and  is offering its Heron -1 unmanned air system (UAS) in maritime configuration as a direct replacement for all sizes maritime patrol aircraft.

Eli G. a retired Israeli navy captain, is now marketing manager in IAI’s Malat UAS plant.

He said that the Heron-1 equipped with an Elta sea radar and e/o sensor can perform the missions better than any manned aircraft.

“The size of the Heron systems bay and its electrical supply systems enable to put on the platform an array of systems including an ECM  sensor”

Eli G. said that by equipping navy ships with a special antenna the Heron-1 can be “slaved” to the ship’s captain. “this allows a compete radio silence in the area of operation”

A typical maritime UAS mission is performed at 5000- 8000 feet and IAI is offering a SATCOM system that allows the UAS to keep a low flight and still transmit the data from its sensors.

The Israeli airforce (IAF) is operating Heron-1 UAS to protect the Israeli offshore natural gas fields from possible terrorist attacks by Hizbullah.This according to foreign sources.

The IAF is operating Heron-1 (Soval) UAS with maritime patrol sensors as a “subcontractor” to the Israeli navy.

The maritime Heron are gradually replacing the Israel aerospace industries (IAI ) Westwind 1124 business jets in Seascans configuration that have been operated since 1978.

The maritime UAS are equipped with  a similar payload carried now by the Seascan. This includes an Elta search radar with and a Tamam stabilized long range optical observation system.

The Heron has an endurance of over 40 hours at an altitude of 30,000 feet. It can carry multiple payloads with a total weight of 250 kg.

As part of its marketing efforts IAI has performed some demonstrations in Latin America.

An (IAI) Heron -1 UAS has crossed the Andes during an operational flight demonstration held in a South American country.

According to IAI the Heron  demonstrated its advanced abilities for long range missions using Satellite communication for control and activation. The UAS was carrying a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Electro Optical payload for day and night use, and a communication intelligence system. The Heron reliably performed various day and night flights during several days of activity, at ranges extending over 500 km and at altitudes of more than 25,000 ft.

The Israeli manufacturer says that the system successfully demonstrated its performance under the extreme weather conditions which are typical to the Andes, including strong winds, very heavy cloudiness and icing conditions.

Elbit is also very active in South America Brazil has begun using its Elbit systems Unmanned Air systems (UAS)  to perform surveillance on the border with Bolivia. During Operation Agata 6, the Brazilian Air Force used two Hermes-450 UAV systems to monitor the border area.

Following the successful operation along the border the Brazilian airforce is evaluating the purchase of more UAV systems.

The first two UAV systems are operated by the Brazilian airforce Horus Squadron, in Santa Maria Air Force Base, Rio Grande do Sul. Founded in 2011, the unit has flown more than 600 hours with its Hermes-450 (RQ-450).

In preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the Brazilian Ministry of Defence dispatched 7,500 troops to the country’s northwest borders with Peru and Bolivia in another effort to stop cross borders crime operations.

In January 2011 Aeroeletronica , the Brazilian subsidiary of Elbit systems was awarded a 48 million u.s $ contract to supply Hermes 450  UAV to the Brazilian Air Force.

The Hermes 450 is a medium size UAS supplying real time intelligence data to ground forces. The UAS is 6.1 m long and has a wingspan of 10.5 m . Total takeoff weight of the UAS is 450 kg.

It is powered by a 52 hp rotary UEL engine that provides a maximum speed of 95 KTAS. It has an endurance of over 20 hours.

The Israeli companies are also offering different land and sea sensors that can help in better protecting natural off sore assets.