Embraer has delivered the final aircraft in the first batch of upgraded F-5 fighters to the Brazilian Air Force. A total of 46 will be upgraded to F-5EM and F-5FM standards to keep them active until 2020.
The upgrade includes the Grifo F-BR radar, throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) cockpit controls, three multifunction displays, additional weapons capabilities, a radar warning receiver, and an electronic countermeasures suite.
The upgrade programme was approved by the Brazilian Senate in January 2001. The first F-5 for the programme was transferred to Embraer in February 2001 and redelivered after a full upgrade in September 2005.
In April 2011, Brazil expanded the scope of the F-5M upgrade program to include 11 F-5s (eight Es and three Fs) that it had purchased from Jordan. A contract with SELEX Galileo worth $85 million was signed in July 2011 for an additional 11 Grifo F/BR radars, Embraer said.
Work on the 11 aircraft officially began in October 2012 and will continue through 2013.