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Brasils defence industry

Since the early twentieth century, the armed forces have pursued the goal of weapons
self-sufficiency. Their intention was never to develop a large arsenal but to have the
technical capability to produce the arms needed for Brazil's military. uring !orld !ar ",
the large navy was cut off from resupply of big gun shells and became a paper navy, thus
reinforcing the drive for self-sufficiency. The rapid industrialization that too# place after
$%&' provided the infrastructure necessary for developing an arms industry. (fter !orld
!ar "", Brazil developed a steel mill at )olta *edonda, in *io de +aneiro State, and
,uic#ly became the largest steel producer in -atin (merica. "n $%./ Brazil began
manufacturing its first automatic pistols. The earliest armored personnel carriers 0(12s3
produced by Brazil, in the $%4's, benefited directly from some of the technology
developed by Brazil's dynamic automotive industry. Brazil's push for nationalization of
the computer-related industry in the $%5's also began with the navy, which could not
decipher the 6blac# bo76 computerized range-finding and firing mechanisms on the
British frigates they had purchased, and did not want to be dependent on imported
maintenance.
"n the $%.'s, Brazil set up the precursor to the (erospace Technical 2enter 02entro
T8cnico (eroespacial--2T(3. -ocated in S9o +os8 dos 2ampos, the 2T( became the
focal point for the arms industry. The 2T( has trained a generation of engineers through
its technical institute, the (eronautical Technology "nstitute 0"nstituto Tecnol:gico da
(eron;utica--"T(3. "n $%<4 it was estimated that 4' percent of <'' =mbraer engineers
had graduated from the "T(.
Brazil's three largest arms firms were established in the $%4's. (vibr;s (erospace
"ndustry 0(vibr;s "nd>stria (eroespacial S.(.--(vibr;s3 was established in $%4$? =ngesa,
in $%4&? and =mbraer, in $%4%. "t was only in the subse,uent period, from $%55 through
$%<<, that the three firms began to e7port arms on a large scale. "n addition an estimated
&.' firms were involved directly or indirectly in the arms production process in Brazil.
The fourth largest Brazilian arms company was the !ar @at8riel "ndustry 0"nd>stria de
@aterial B8lico do Brasil--"mbel3, established on +uly $/, $%5., to unify the army's seven
ordnance and ammunition factories.
=ngineers associated formerly with the 2T( created (vibr;s as a private aerospace firm.
"n $%4/ (vibr;s was granted the Sonda " roc#et contract and since then has been the
maAor firm involved with the development of sounding roc#ets 0Sondas "", """, and ")3. "t
also has ta#en a leading role in developing missiles. "n the $%<'s and early $%%'s,
(vibr;s wor#ed almost e7clusively with the manufacturing of roc#ets and multiple-
launch roc#et systems 0@-*S3, such as the (stros "", in addition to developing antitan#
and antiship missiles. (t its pea#, (vibr;s employed 4,''' people.
=ngesa also was formed as a private firm. "nitially, it was involved in renovating !orld
!ar ""-vintage tan#s. =ngesa built wheeled (12s, such as the ==-$$ Brutu amphibious
(12, the ==-% 2ascavel armored reconnaissance vehicle, the ==-$5 Sucuri tan#
destroyer, and the ==-& +araraca scout car, in addition to a wide range of other products.
=ngesa's (12s were all based on an indigenously designed suspension system. =ngesa's
weapons were e7ported almost e7clusively to the developing world, especially to
countries in the @iddle =ast, -atin (merica, and (frica. By the mid-$%<'s, =ngesa had
e7panded to a group of twelve subsidiaries and employed more than .,''' people. By
that time, the company had spent BSC$'' million on the development of the Ds:rio, a
main battle tan#, but was unable to find a buyer for it. The Ds:rio proAect came to an
abrupt end with Dperation esert Storm against "ra, in $%%$. "n $%%' =ngesa had won
the evaluation process by the Saudis. (fter esert Storm, Brazil was no match for Bnited
States competition, given the close ties that developed between Saudi (rabia and the
Bnited States during the war with "ra,.
By the mid-$%<'s, =mbraer had become the largest aircraft manufacturer in the
developing world, with sales of more than /,''' aircraft. "t has encountered great success
with its Bandeirante and BrasElia models, sold to the Bnited States and other foreign
countries. "n $%<<, at its height, it employed more than $F,''' wor#ers. The Brazilian
government owned about . percent of the company but controlled most of the voting
stoc#. The government supported =mbraer with generous interest rates on its loans, a
reinvestment of profits into research and development, and purchases of its aircraft.
By $%<' Brazil had become a net e7porter of arms. Dn the demand side, the rapid success
resulted from a growing need in the developing world for armaments. Dn the supply side,
Brazil's arms e7ports were designed for developing world mar#ets and were noted for
their high ,uality, easy maintenance, good performance in adverse conditions, and low
cost. The product line was broad and came to include ammunition, grenades, mines,
armored personnel vehicles, patrol boats, navy patrol planes, turboprop trainers, tan#s,
and subsonic Aet fighters.
"n the early $%<'s, Brazil emerged as one of the leading armaments e7porters in the
developing world. Grom $%<. to $%<%, it was the eleventh largest e7porter of arms. Brazil
e7ported arms to at least forty-two countries, in all regions of the world. By far the largest
regional mar#et was the @iddle =ast, to which Brazil sold appro7imately .' percent of
its arms from $%55 through $%<<. (ccording to an estimate by the Stoc#holm
"nternational 1eace *esearch "nstitute 0S"1*"3, /' percent of all Brazilian arms transfers
from $%<. to $%<% went to "ra,.
Brazil's arms industry nearly collapsed after $%<<, as a result of the termination of the
"ran-"ra, !ar 0$%<'-<<3, a reduction in world demand for armaments, and the decline in
state support for the industry. "n early $%%', the two maAor manufacturers, =ngesa and
(vibr;s, filed for ban#ruptcy.
By late $%%/, it appeared that Brazil's arms industry would not disappear completely. "t
was unli#ely, however, that it would return to the robust form of the mid-$%<'s. (vibr;s
had paid off a substantial portion of its debt and was see#ing ways to convert much of its
production to civilian products. =ngesa had been dismembered? some of its companies
were sold to private interests, and its ordnance-related companies were ta#en over by the
state and integrated with "mbel. =mbraer was privatized in ecember $%%/, and despite
significant financial difficulties, it rolled out the new Aet commuter plane prototype =@B-
$/. in $%%..
Brasil diplomatic relations with "ran 0 press article3
Brazilian government's position on maintaining negotiations with "ran over its
controversial nuclear program accords with Brazil's foreign policy, an e7pert on
international relations told Hinhua Thursday.
(mado 2ervo, a professor of international relations at the Bniversity of Brasilia, told
Hinhua in an interview that 1resident -uiz "nacio -ula da Silva maintained the traditional
position of Brazilian diplomacy, referring to -ula's earlier statement that 6it is not wise to
push "ran into a corner.6
( day earlier, !ashington failed to win Brazil's support for new sanctions against "ran
when Secretary of State Iillary 2linton met with her Brazilian counterpart 2elso
(morim.
Both sides reiterated their positions on how to deal with "ran's nuclear program. 2linton
advocated sanctions by the international community to force "ran to negotiate but
(morim insisted on striving to reach an agreement.
2ervo said the Juclear Jon-proliferation Treaty, signed in $%4<, gives developing
countries the right to access peaceful nuclear technology, which may be obtained from
other countries or through independent development.
2ountries' right to pursue nuclear industry development is important because it represents
a step that confirms the maturity of their development in a broad sense, he said.
Brazil has followed both paths, in $%54 through an agreement with Kermany and later
achieving the technological capacity to sustain its own nuclear program primarily
intended for energy production, he said.
6That position passed over governments and regimes, both during the military regime
0$%4/-$%<.3 and in the successive democratic governments,6 he added.
The professor also emphasized that Brazil's diplomatic tradition is based on a universal
conception of international relations, featuring the respect for differences in cultures and
concepts, and coe7istence in diversity.
"n that sense, Brazil and the Bnited States have 6completely different6 positions, 2ervo
said.
Iowever, regarding Brazil-B.S. relationship, 2ervo said the Bnited States is a #ey
strategic partner, a very important relationship for the formation of Brazil. 6-ula's
government remains unchanged, and no one would dare to sacrifice the benefits of this
alliance dating bac# to the &'s.6