Embraer delivered today the last modernized AF-1 fighter (AF-1B) to the Brazilian Navy. The ceremony was held at Embraer’s industrial unit in Gavião Peixoto, in São Paulo state. Under the AF-1 program (the Brazilian Navy designation for the McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk), seven subsonic fighter jets were modernized – five single-seater AF-1Bs and two two-seaters AF-1Cs. The AF-1 is an intercept and attack aircraft operated from airfields or aircraft carriers as a vector for the fleet’s air defense. The Brazilian Navy’s modernized aircraft received new navigation, weapons, power generation, computers, tactical communication, and sensor systems, including a state-of-the-art multi-mode radar and a new operating system. In addition to the modernization, the revitalization of the cell was carried out, increasing the aircraft’s useful life.
On 14 April 2009, Embraer signed a contract to modernize 12 Brazilian Navy aircraft, nine AF-1s (single-seat) and three AF-1As (two-seat). Modernization provides pilots a situational awareness and familiarity with modern combat aircraft systems operations—essential and relevant criteria for the current combat scenario. As part of the modernization program carried out by Embraer, a high-fidelity flight simulator was developed permitting the Brazilian Navy to carry out pilot training, thus increasing safety in its operations. Briefing and debriefing stations used in the training and proficiency of pilots were also provided to improve their use, to reduce costs and to bring greater effectiveness to mission planning and execution. Embraer stated the modifications will allow the aircraft to remain operational until 2025.
The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a single-seat subsonic carrier-capable light attack aircraft developed for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps in the early 1950s. The delta-winged, single turbojet engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company, and later by McDonnell Douglas. It was originally designated A4D under the U.S. Navy’s pre-1962 designation system. As of 2014, Brazil was the latest Skyhawk customer. In 1997 Brazil negotiated a $70 million contract for purchase of 20 A-4KU and three TA-4KU Skyhawks from Kuwait. Kuwait’s Skyhawks, modified A-4Ms and TA-4Js delivered in 1977, were among the last of those models built by Douglas. The aircraft were selected by Brazil because of low flight time, excellent physical condition, and a favorable price. The Brazilian Navy re-designated AF-1 and AF-1A Falcões (Hawks), the Kuwaiti Skyhawks arrived in Arraial do Cabo on 5 September 1998.
Embraer is a global aerospace company headquartered in Brazil. It manufactures aircraft for Commercial and Executive aviation, Defense & Security, and Agricultural customers. The company also provides after-sales services & support through a worldwide network of wholly-owned entities and authorized agents. The company has industrial units, offices, service and parts distribution centers across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Since it was founded in 1969, Embraer has delivered more than 8,000 aircraft. On average, about every 10 seconds an aircraft manufactured by Embraer takes off somewhere in the world, transporting over 145 million passengers a year. Embraer is the leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 150 seats and is the main exporter of high value-added goods in Brazil. The E-Jets are used across the world by 80 airlines in 50 countries.