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Aerea Brasileira / Brazilian
Last update 09-07-2013
The first KC-130H tanker arrived at Campo dos Alfonsos AB (Rio de Janeiro) on 03-10-75
followed by the second one on 18-12-75.
They were attached to the 2° Esquadrao/1° Grupo de Transporte de Tropa "Cascavel";
in-flight refuelling of F-5s contemporaneously was possible and they kept the ability to
operate as cargoes.
In-flight refuelling training started immediately, enabling to demonstrate this capability
for the first time on 21-04-76 at Anapolis AB (Brasilia) and on 22.04.76 at the yearly Dia
da Caça (Fighter Day) at S Cruz AB. This last event was attended
by 28 F-5s, 2 showing this capability,
while the others, including some
with a reconnaissance nose, showed their fighter-bombing capability.
In 1985 the 2°/1° GTT passed its Lockheed KC-130H to the 1°Esquadrao/1° Grupo de Transporte "Gordo"
The Grupo received the two tankers in 1985 but used them exclusively on transportation
duties. This was changed in 2004 when, on 15-03-04 8 F-5E were in flight-refuelled in
the sky of Florianopolis.
During the same year (1985) the 2° Esquadrao/2° Grupo de Transporte "Corsario" was
activated, supplementing with its 3 Boeing KC-137 the KC-130H of the 1°/1°GT and
enabling much more flexible refuelling conditions.
being refuelled in flight during exercise Cruzex, August 2004.
Intensive training allowed
a first cross-country exercise to be held starting on 29-06-77, when 4
F-5E from 1°/14° GAv took-off from Canoas AB and landed, after
a 3 hr 45 min flight, at Fortaleza. They had flown 3'500 kms
non-stop, at a heighth of 10'000 meters, being in-flight refuelled over
Belo Horizonte by an KC-130H; contemporaneously the 1° Grupo de
Caça also transferred some Tigers to Fortaleza.
end of 1977, between 12 and 17th December, saw the transfer to
Fortaleza of the two Tiger equipped Grupos de Aviaçao to
participate to the 36th Tournament of Fighter Aviation, together with
the Mirage equipped ALA, the Embraer AT-26 equipped 1°/4° GrAv,
3° Esq. de Instruçao Aerea and the Neiva AT-28 equipped
the 1°GAv takes care for the air defence of Southern Brazil from
Canoas AB whe locally based 1°/14° GAv is dilocated to Natal
F-5E aerobatic capabilities have enthusiasted Brazilian crowds during
many air shows that have been held during years all over the country as
part of the public relations activities of the Força Aerea
Among them the yearly "Dia da Caça" (April 22nd)
to celebrate the participation of the Brazilian af to the World War 2.
All fighter units, including those equipped with Embraer EMB-326/AT-26 and Embraer AMX/A-1,
participate to the event.
The aircrafts gave a fire-power
demonstration with all their
armament (cannons, bombs,
rockets, napalm) until 1999.
After that year only overflights
and an armament show inside
the "Zeppelin" hangar have been
organised due to financial
Overview of Santa Cruz AB on
22-04-04. Note the enormous
size of the "Zeppelin" hangar.
armed with 2 napalm
canisters followed by another
armed with 4 canisters.
Note last two of serial written
Photo: The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast
armed with bombs.
Note white last two of serial
and Squadron badge on air inlet.
Photo: The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast
"Operação Ilha da Magia"
Eight Northrop F-5E of the
1°GAvCa, 5 Embraer EMB RT-26 of the Esquadrao Poker and 1
Boeing KC-137 participated in May 1997 to this exercise, whose aim was
fround attack, air defence, low altitude navigation, in-flight
refuelling plus tactical reconnaissance operating from Florianopolis
AB. Two of the Northrop F-5Es was equipped with underwing Python 3
"Operaçao Pampa 2005": extensive
combined Army, Navy, Air Force
exercise in the states of Rio Grande
do Sul and Paranà between the 10th
and the 20th October 2005 saw the
participation of the locally (Canoas)
based 1°/14° GAvCa in addition to
Mirage IIID/E, EMB-326, Embraer
A-1/TA-1, KC-130H, KC-137.
Also participating (for the first time
to an exercise) were 1 EMB R-99A
1 R-99B, both from the 2°/6° GAv,
for Airborne Early Warning & Control
A less glamorous, but important exercise for
interoperative use of the forces, took place from 10-12- till 12-12-08
between the F-5EM of the 1° GAvCa and the Douglas AF-1 (Douglas
A-4KU) of the Brazilian Navy VF-1 Squadron. All aircrafts were based at
Santa Cruz AB, acting alternatively as interceptors or targets.
Five F-5EM of the 1°/14° GAv participated from Canoas AB to the exercise "Operaçao Laçador"
between 16th and 27th November 2009, the biggest combined Army/Navy, Air Force exercise,
together with Mirage 2000, Embraer A-1s/RA-1, EMB-326, AT-29, AEW, transport and SAR
yearly held, joint Army-Navy-Air Force exercise takes place in the north of the
country; all kind of aircrafts and helicopters participate to it.
The 2012 edition started on September 17th; particular attention was given to a new
concept of air defence command and control; most used aircrafts
(inclusive Northrop/Embraer F-5EM and Embraer AMX/A-1) were based at
Manaus but the centre responsible for the execution of the operations
was in Rio de Janeiro, more than 4'000 km away.
In-flight refuelling was also extensively trained: Embraer/Northrop F-5EM (1°/4° GAv) took off from Porto Velho to be refuelled by an KC-130 from the Esquadrao Gordo.
Enbedded in this, mainly transport units operation, an
inflight-refuelling exercise took place on 22-03-12; one Boeing KC-137
of the 2°/2° Grupo de Transporte refuelled 2 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM out
of Belem AB.
This exercise was specifically
hold between the 26th and 30th March 2012 to train new pilots
pilots in the in-flight refuelling technics, both during the day
and night. Embraer/Northrop F-5M from the 1°/14° GAV and
1°/4° GAV were involved from Canoas AFB, refuelling from
Lockheed KC-130 Hercules of the 1°/1° GT.
Newly re-equipped 1°/4° GAV has conducted between the 7th and the 17th May 2013
air-combat exercises with air-refuelling and interception missions.
Starting from 1977 Brazilian F-5Es, based at Salvador AB, have participated to "Unitas";
mainly a naval exercise with South American (Argentina, Brazil, Peru,
Chile) and USA navies participate. Tigers have been active attacking
ships after they had been localized by Grumman S-2 Trackers, later by
Embraer P-95; in the meantime Embraer A-1s have taken over this role.
The first combined USA/Brazilian "Tiger I"
exercise took place at Muniz ANGB, Puerto Rico, between October 17th and 21st 1994. It saw
the long transfer to the Carribean island of Northorp F-5Es in
conjunction with Embraer AMXs from Santa Cruz AB.
exercise was held at Natal AB between October 21st and 30th 1995; the Puerto Rico Air National Guard
deployed 6 F-16A, 2 F-16B of the 198th Fighter Squadron while the
2°/1° GAvCa and the 1°/14° GAvCa
sent 5 Northrop F-5Es and 1 F-5F each, accompanied by Embraer AMXs of
the 1°/16° GAvCa and Mirage IIIEBs of the 1° GDA. Mixed
formations were flown both for ground attack (F-16/F-5/AMX) as well as
air defence (F-16/Mirage) sorties. This was the first time since World War 2 that a USAF unit deployed to Brazil.
This excercise was followed between March 9th and 16th, 1996 by "Tiger III",
of 5 F-16Cs, 1 F-16D of the US Reserve 93th Fighter Squadron to Santa
Maria AB, together with two KC-135 of the 434th Air Refueling Wing.
They engaged against Embraer AMX/A-1s and Northrop F-5Es and served to
develop A-1 and F-5 tactics to
avoid F-16 missile strikes.
Cruzeiro do Sul": from 29-04-02 till
11-05-02 at Canoas AB; 5 Northrop F-5E of the 1°/1°GAvCa and the locally based Northrop F-5E/F of the 1°/14°
GAv participated to the excercise, together with aircrafts from
Argentina (6 Mirage 5), France (4 Mirage 2000-5), and Chile (4
Cruzeiro do Sul
was later renamed "Cruzex" and developed into the most important combined South
III" an USAF KC-135Rs refueled for the first time a Brazilian
F-5Es, using a drogue funnel fitted to the boom as normal
refueling booms are not compatible with the F-5 probe. The
established that the two Air Forces could deploy together.
"Salitre 2004": the 1°/1°GAvCa,
based at Iquique (Chile), with 5 F-5Es in the air-to-air and
air-to-ground missions participated from 26-09-04 till 10-10-04,
together with Chilean AF Dassault Elkans, Dassault Panteras, Cessna
A-37B attack/fighters, transport aircrafts and helicopters; Argentina
sent Dassault Mirage IIEA and Daggers, while 6 USAF Gneral Dynamics
F-16Cs were also present.
Little is known of the exchange tour of
Brazilian pilots with their Chilean colleagues. One pilot of 1° GAv
and 1°/14° GAv completed their tour with the Antofagasta based
Grupo de Aviacion n°7 at the end of 2007.
took place from 21-08-06 till 01-09-06; 6 F-5EM from 1°/14° GAv, based at
Campo Grande for air defence and 6
F-5EM, based at Anapolis for air-defence/strike,
present in addition to several Brazilian strike-fighters, AEW,
transport and rescue aircrafts
present were Argentinian 2 McDonnel/Douglas
2 FMA IA.58 Pucarà; France with
8 Dassault Mirage2000C/N, 1
Boeing E-3F; Venezuela
with 3 General Dynamics F-16A,
3 Dassault Mirage 50, 2 Canadair CF-5A,
1 Boeing KC-707; Chile 6 Cessna A-37B; Uruguay
A-37C, 3 FMA
This first international F-5EM
excercise was of
importance due to the
participation of the advanced French Mirage 2000 fighters as
well as of the Embraer R-99A
and French Boeing E-3F Early Warning aircrafts. The combination
of the two Embraer aircrafts
and of Derby
air-to-air missiles resulted in at least one victorious duel against
the French combination, "shooting
infomation, two Mirage 2000C and 1 Mirage 2000N.
"Cruzex IV" took place at Natal AB between the 1st and 14th November 2008, with the
participation of 6 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM of the 1° GAvCa and 1°/14 GAvCa, GAMD
Mirage 2000(Brazil), GD
F-16 (USA, Chile, Venezuela), Embreaer A-29
IA-58 Uruguay and Cessna A-37 (Colombia, Uruguay).
"Cruzex V" followed between 18-10-10 and 19-11-10 with the participation of Embraer/
Northrop F-5EM belonging to the 1° Grupo de Aviaçao de Caça acting as aggressors against
French Rafales, USAF and Chilean F-16s, Argentinian A-4R and Uruguayan A-37 from
Fortaleza AB, in-flight refuelled by one Lockheed KC-130 of the 1°/1° Grupo de Transporte.
"Cruzex Flight VI" 16 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and 1 Embraer/Northrop F-5FM belonging
to the 1° GAvCa, the 1°/14 GAvCaça and the 1°/4 GAvCaça were present at Natal AB
between 04-11-13 and 15-11-13. They mixed with Brazilian Mirage 2000 and
Embraer AMX/A-1, RA-1, F-16s belonging to Chile, the USAF (AIM-120 armed), Venezuela;
Cessna A-37 from Colombia, Uruguay, Embraer A-29 from Ecuador. Focus was on co-opera-
tion between aircrafts of different countries. Two Embraer E-99 (Emb-145) provided detection
of participating aircrafts at low altitude.
On November 2nd 2 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and 2 GAMD Mirage 200 were for
the first time in-flight refuelled by a Colombian Boeing KC-767; 4
Colombian A-37s were in return in-flight refuelled by an Brazilan
Lockheed KC-130 the same day.
Força Aerea Brasileira participated for the first time to (Red-Flag
08 3) in
the year 2008 with 6 Embraer F-5EM of the 1°/14°
taking place at Nellis AFB between July 21st and
August 1st; the aircrafts had mainly escort duties for
F-16s, Swedish Gripens), bombers (Boeing B-52s)
and AEW aircrafts operating against AIM-120 AMRAAM armed McDonnell
F-15C and General Dynamics F-16CG operating in an BVR scenario. The
aircrafts performed with great success, even though not all integrated
systems were operational as the software had not yet obtained the
definitive certification and the Data Link abd the Helmet Mounted
Display were not yet installed.
Photo: Brazilian AF
Three Embraer/Northrop F-5EM queing to be in-flight refuelled on their way to Nellis AFB
"Salitre 2014" was kept at Antogasta (Chile) from 06-10-14 till17-10-2014; 4 Embraer F-5EM of the 1 Grupo de Aviaçao de Caça participated in the air-to-air role to it. One Lockheed KC-130
provided in-flight refuelling. Opponents were Chilean Northrop F-5E and
General Dynamics F-16 plus Argentinian Douglas A-4, Uruguyan A-37 and
USAF General Dynamics F-16s.
An operational availability of 95 percent was reached during more than 30 missions.
of a British Vulcan
The Falkland/Malvinas war gave an unexpected opportunity to test the air defence organisation and the Northrop F-5E.
June 3rd, 1982 Avro Vulcan Mk B.2 (serial XM597) returning from a
strike mission armed with two live Westinghouse AGM-45 Shrike
anti-radar missiles had an emergency situation; it had been hit by
the Argentine Port Stanley anti-aicraft defence at its fuel system. The
crew decided to land at Rio de Janeiro-Galeao civil airport; two AIM-9B
Sidewinder armed Northrop F-5E were scrambled from Santa Cruz AB to
intercept the, till that moment, unknown aircraft. This was intercepted
when it was already on Brazilian territory.
of the Anapolis AB based Mirage IIIE on 31-12-05 gave, from 31-12-05,
alternatively to the 1° GAv and 1°/14° GAv the task to
defend, with 2 F-5E, the Northern part of the country until the arrival
of Mirage 2000s bought in France. The first 2 Tigers (serials
4820, 4827 from 1°GAv) arrived at Natal AB on 14-12-05 during the
Mirage retirement ceremony. The new Mirages arrived at Anapolis AB on
27-09-07, releasing shortly after the F-5s from their Northern Air
Withdrawal of the Mirage 2000 at the end of 2013 saw again Embraer/Northrop F-5EM taking over air defence over the area around Brasilia, at least until a Saab J-39 will be available.
These operations, in collaboration with the Army and fluvial Navy, concentrate against
illegal trafficking of drugs, arms and merchandise along Brazilian
borders; the Tigers are used as air cover for the attacking aircrafts.
Agata 1 operation in August 2011 was along the border with Colombia with the participation of four Embraer/Northrop F-5EM
in combination with 5 Super Tucanos on 10-08-11 of
the 1°/4° GAV, 2 Embraer R-99, 2 UH-60 and
one Cessna C-98.
was the second operation, starting on 16-09-11, this time along
the border with Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, in September 2011
with the participation of Embraer/Northrop F-5EM, Super Tucano and Sikorsky UH-60 and transport aircrafts/helicopters.
Agata 3, a large scale operation along the 7'000 km border with Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay starting 22-11-11.
Embraer/Northrop F-5EM, Embraer A-1 and Super Tucanos participating to the operation were based at Tabatinga, Campo Grande, Cuiaba, Vilhena and Porto Velho.
Photo: Brazilian AF/Sgt Batista
Embraer/Northrop F-5EM 4873 landing at Porto Velho AB on 20-11-11 in preparation of operation Agata 3.
began on 02-05-11. The Northern border with Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam
and French Guyana was controlled with Embraer/Northrop F-5EM fighters,
attack, early warning, reconnaissance and transport aircrafts.
Agata 5 lasted 30 days, starting from 06-08-12,
along the borders with Bolivia,
Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay; it
included air-refuelling of Embraer/Northrop
F-5EM from Lockheed KC-130
in order to extend they patrolling time. The air-
crafts were based at Campo Grande AB, Canoas AB and Santa Maria AB.
Agata 6 took off on 09-10-12 in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Rondonia and Acre bordering Bolivia and Peru; it involved 4 Embraer/Northrop F-EM, 6 Embraer A-29 and 10 helicopters.
began on 28-05-13 and ended on 05-06-13 with operations along all bordering states, French
Guyana, Guyana, Surinam, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru Paraguay,
Argentina and Uruguay (16'886 km); an enormous enterprise. Embraer/Northrop F-5EM participated from Canoas AB
Early morning take-off for Agata 7 exercise from Canoas AB 28-05-2013
Brazilian AF/cb V.Santos
Operations Agata 8 in 2014 and Agata 9 took place respectively in 2014 and 2015; no Embraer/Northrop F-5 are known to have partecipated.