Brazil’s military hardware in very poor conditions, alleged Defence report

Brazilian Armed Forces military equipment is ‘obsolete’ and not in condition to be displayed in case of a conflict according to an official reports published Sunday the Folha de Sao Paulo.

Monday, March 14th 2011 – 06:31 UTC

The report which Folha says was elaborated by the Defence ministry criticizes the concentration of forces and fire power in the rich and prosperous south east of the country, all of which “reveals the fragility of the Armed Forces” and the scarce military presence in other parts of Brazil.

The report points out that of the 1.953 tanks and armoured vehicles belonging to the Army, only 1.079 are operational. The Navy has 98 different vessels of which 48 are capable of combat or support tasks while the rest remain in port or dry docks. Similarly with the Air Force, with only 85 of its 208 fighter bombers ready for action, 100 of the 298 air transport fleet and 27 of the 73 helicopters.

Recently Brazil launched a program to modernize the Armed Forces which has included agreements with several countries for the purchase of military equipment. The largest agreement so far has been with France for the joint construction of five conventional submarines, plus a nuclear powered submersible and 50 helicopters EC-725 from Eurocopter an affiliate from the European group EADS.

The modernization plan also includes a bidding process for the purchase of 36 state of the art fighter bombers and includes the French Dassault Rafale, the Swedish Saab Gripen and the US Super Hornet F 18 from Boeing.

The contract which was supposed to be awarded last year has been delayed by the administration of President DIlma Rousseff as part of drastic cuts in the federal budget decided last month. According to official sources the purchase has not been cancelled, only suspended, and will most probably be decided ‘sometime next year’.

Source: MercoPress (South Atlantic News Agency)

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