Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Erieye in combat

FAB, the Brazilian Air Force is involved in a low intensity war with drug cartels hiding in the Amazonas djungle. To be able to fight these well armed criminals the Air Force has bought Embraer A-29 "Super Tucano", a COIN - CointerInsurgency capable aircraft.

These aircraft are not only for show, they are operational. Due to the nature of these small wars, there are not many articles in the papers. But now FAB has released a video (se below) and information on a attack on a small airfield in the djungle that FAB suspected was used for smuggling.

Four Super Tucanos attacked the clandestine airstrip, near the border with Colombia, on August 10, dropping eight 230kg bombs, the defense ministry says. Cut from the jungle, the runway was detected from satellite imagery by Brazil's Sivam Amazon surveillance system.

The attacking aircraft were controlled by Embraer R-99 with the Erieye Airborne Command&Control radar. This radar is manufactured by Saab Microwave Mölndal outside of Gothenburg, Sweden. It has been sold to a number of other countries involved in small scale wars.

- Mexico. Erieye is most probably used in the same type of campaigns as in Brazil to detect smuggling across the US-Mexico border.

- Greece. Eriey is used to monitor the border with Turkey and to detect any respassing aircraft. Greeca and Turkey has for for many years been involved in dogfighs with deadly results due to the Aegean conflict.

- Pakistan. Erieye is used to monitor the Kashmir region and stop all border violations by Indian aircraft.

- Thailand. In the south of Thailand there is an ungoing conflict with the muslim minority. In the north of Thailand there is an ongoing fight against the drug smuggling in he same way as for Brazil and Mexico.

Sweden has a policy of not selling weapons to countries involved in war. But what is the definition of "war" today? The classic definition is a war between two countries, but today most wars are internal or against international terrorist organisations.

If Brazil buys the Gripen, maybe it will also be used in the war against the drug smuggling? can Sweden be against these kind of operations? Stopping the drug smuggling must be on every country agenda. But sometimes the methods are rough. In Thailand he former president Thaksin Shinawatra has been accused of murdering many innocent people in the campaign to stop drug smuggling. But in the end, Thaksin also got very good results. Maybe it is in the nature of all wars that innocent people will get killed? In Afghanistan NATO does their best to minimize civilian losses, but still there are mistakes resulting in many afghans getting killed.

The video was released, not only to show that the Brazilian government means business, but also to show USA the capability of the A-29 pending US decision to buy a new LSA - Light Support Aircraft.


  1. Your blog is a welcome addition not least because it is in English. So, just keep on bloggin! However, on your list of linked blogs please replace my Swedish-language blog with my English one:



  2. Thank You Lars! I have updated the blog-adress.