Brazil receives first modernised E-99M AEW&C

Embraer delivered its first modernised E-99M airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to the Brazilian Air Force during a ceremony at the firm’s Gavião Peixoto facility in São Paulo, Brazil, on November 27.

The aircraft, serial 6702, is the first of five E-99 AEW&C aircraft to be upgraded to E-99M-standard by Embraer under the modernisation contract. As part of this process, the platform has been equipped with Saab’s Erieye-ER active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which has been adapted to meet specific Brazilian Air Force requirements. The E-99M also features updated mission systems and related subsystems, including new communication, command and control, electronic warfare and electronic countermeasure equipment.

E-99M [Embraer] #1
Embraer handed over its first of five modernised E-99M AEW&C platforms to the Brazilian Air Force on November 27, 2020. Embraer

Jackson Schneider, president and CEO of Embraer Defense and Security, said: “For Embraer, it is a privilege to continue meeting [the Brazilian Air Force’s] needs to keep this robust and modern aircraft update. It plays a strategic role in Brazil’s defence system and has already proven its operational effectiveness.”

This modernisation programme falls under the responsibility of Brazil’s Combat Aircraft Program Coordinating Committee (COPAC), with support from Embraer, Saab, Aeroelectronica International (AELI) and Rohde & Schwarz. Alongside the modernisation of the E-99 fleet, the project also includes technology transfer agreements, which Embraer says will “enable technological advancements for the Brazilian defence industry.”

Lt Brig Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez, commander of the Brazilian Air Force, added: “The air force, making use of the tradition of keeping itself updated, cohesive and ready, decided to modernise the systems of this aircraft, in addition to other capabilities to guarantee the sovereignty of our airspace.”

Designated the E-99/E-99M by the Brazilian Air Force, the AEW&C platform is based on Embraer’s ERJ-145LR regional commercial aircraft. The type was originally known as the R-99A when it entered Brazilian service in the early 2000s. The first example was handed over to the air force in December 2000, followed by the remaining four aircraft in 2002.