First F-5EM Delivered
23 Sep 2005
On September 21, 2005 the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) received its first upgraded Northrop F-5EM from Embraer. The aircraft was handed over to the 1º/14ºGAv 'Pampa' squadron at Canoas AB. The upgrade includes a new glass cockpit, HOTAS configuration, new multimode FIAR Grifo F radar, a RWR system and a data-link which will allow the F-5M to transfer data with the R-99 AEW&C aircraft. The total cost of the program is USD 285 million for the development and the upgrade work. A total of 46 airframes will be upgraded and delivered until 2007, with two aircraft being delivered each month.
The FAB is studying the possibility to buy 9 more F-5s from Saudi Arabia, most of them will be F-5Fs to complement the Brazilian fleet, as only 3 two-seaters are operational today. The Air Force commander also stressed the intention to create a new F-5 fighter unit at Natal AB, in the north-east of Brazil.