American and Swedish technology to boost Brazilian defence industry


Recognition of the importance of Brazil’s larger defence industry internationally comes with both Boeing and Saab moving into the South American country.

The American aerospace and defence giant will site its new Brazilian research and technology centre at the hub of the country’s aerospace industry in the Sao Jose dos Campos technological park.

Saab Barracuda, a subsidiary of Sweden’s leading defence company, has entered into a partnership agreement with Forca Delta Equipamentos Militares. The agreement will see partial manufacturing of multi-spectral camouflage for signature management purposes in the South American country.

Both announcements were made to coincide with Latin America’s largest defence exhibition – LAAD – which has just ended in Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition followed South Africa’s hosting of the BRICS Summit in Durban where the local defence industry hosted a seminar and exhibition on the side of the main event.

Speaking at the seminar, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said that the defence industry was not part of the five nation summit’s agenda.
“We felt it necessary to use the advantage of having many of our counterparts present to start an initiative beneficial to all partners,” she said at the seminar last month.

This will see the South African defence industry, working through its representative organisation AMD (SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association) as the lead party in putting the defence industry sector onto the overall BRICS agenda.

Staffed by at least 12 Boeing researchers and scientists, the new centre will investigate and develop aerospace technology projects with nearby Brazilian government technology institutions including the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA) and National Institute for Space Research (INPE), as well as Brazilian companies such as Embraer.

Scheduled to open later this year, the Boeing Brazil centre will also be the Seattle headquartered company’s focal point for collaboration with universities across the country.
“We are excited to take this step in strengthening our relationships with Brazil’s research and development community to develop technology for the world. Together we can grow Brazil’s capabilities in ways to benefit aerospace and help meet the country’s goals for economic and technology development,” said Donna Hrinak, president of Boeing Brazil.

The move into Brazil by Saab Barracuda is part of its strategy to increase its signature in South America.
“Forca Delta and its manufacturing capabilities match the profile of a Brazilian partner we’ve been looking for. This partnership enables us to leverage Forca Delta’s know-how in sewing and quality control, helping to strengthen our competitiveness in Brazil and South American market,” said Anders Wiman, president of Saab Barracuda.

Forca Delta’s existing product line includes tents, beds for infield military use and uniforms.

The partnership with Saab will see a new 10 000 square metre production facility erected of which 2 000 square metres will be dedicated to manufacturing multi-spectral camouflage.

The Swedish company has more than 50 years of experience in camouflage with customers in over 60 countries and the partnership agreement will see state-of-the-art signature management technology coming to Brazil.

Signature management is advanced avoidance detection. It involves managing a signature in the field by controlling electro-magnetic spectrums to safeguard vehicles, fixed installations and personnel from sensor and radar threats, thermal target seekers and weapon sights.