The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast Page  -  Home

                       Forša Aerea Brasileira / Brazilian Air Force

                                                                                                         Last update 02-12-2023

Brazil Operations



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 Caša also transferred some Tigers to Fortaleza.

The end of 1977, between 12 and 17th December, saw the transfer to Fortaleza of the two Tiger equipped Grupos de Aviašao 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 Instrušao Aerea and the Neiva AT-28 equipped CATR

During the annual air-to-ground excercises at Natal, 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 AB.

Norhrop 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 Forša Aerea
Among them the yearly "Dia da Caša" (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.
                                                                Photo: Brazilian AF
   F-5E 4837 1░GAvCa Santa Cruz 22-04-85 armed with 2 napalm canisters followed by another                            F-5E 4828 1░/14░GAv Santa Cruz 22-04-85 armed with bombs. Note white last two of serial
   armed with 4 canisters. Note last two of serial written in white on tail.                                                    on tail and Squadron badge on air inlet.      Photo: The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast
                                                                    Photo: The Northrop F-5 Enthusiast

Another yearly regular event was the Torrneo de Aviašao de Caša (Fighter Aviation Tournament). The 25th took place at Anapolis AB between the 5th and 12th October 2005, when alll Northrop F-5 units participated.
The day celebrates theactiv participation of a Brazilian fighter unit to the Second World War

    Also regualar yearly event is on April 22nd the
"Dia de Aviašao de Caša" at Santa Cruz AB (Rio de Janeiro) to celebrate the participation to the 2nd World War of a Republic P-47 unit in Italy; all fighter
    units usually present. The 75th event was hold on 22-04-21

                              Photo: F
                                                        Bombs armed Embraer F-5EM already seen in 2011AB/"Mauro" Linos de Barrios
"OperašŃo 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 air-to-air-missiles.

"OperašŃo Vaga-Lume"

 Northrop F-5E in dissimilar combat with Embraer/Aermacchi 326 of the 1░ Escuadrao/4░ Grupo de Aviašao                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo: Brazilian AF
Excercise hold at Natal AB by the 1░ Grupo Aviašao de Caša, between the 9th and 23rd November 2003, including ground support and dissimilar air combat operations against Embraer/Aermacchi 326 (2x2,
2x1 aircrafts),

   "Operašao Pampa 2005": extensive combined Army, Navy, Air Force exercise in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and ParanÓ 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, R-99B, both from the 2░/6░ GAv, for Airborne Early Warning
   & Control AEW) duties.

   Photo: Brazilian AF

"Operašao Camofo" Took place between 24-10-15 till 01-11-05 at Belo Horizote airport. At least four Northrop F-5E participated to it.

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.

   "Operašao Laguna"
    This was an air-to-air refuelling excercise on 02-10-09 involving 1 Lockheed KC-130, from Campo Grande AB; 4 Embraer/Northrop F-5 received a total of approximately 12'000 litres fuel in two
    times each.
    Additional  aircrafts taking part ot the excercise were Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, Embraer E-99, R-99, Lockeed C-130 and KC-137 together with Army and Navy units.

 Five F-5EM of the 1░/14░ GAv participated from Canoas AB to the exercise "Operašao Lašador" brtween 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  aircrafts.

"Exercicio operacional REVO 11"
This excercise (aircrafts based at Canoas AB from 27-09-11 to 30-09-11) had the objective to train pilots on air-to-air refuelling. Participating wer Embraer/Northrop F-5EM of the 1░ Grupo de Caša, the
1░ Esquadrao/ 4░ Grupo de Aviašao,
1░ Esquadrao/ 14░ Grupo de Aviašao together to Mirage 2000 of the 1░ Grupo de Defensa Aerea. Air-to-air refuelling was assured by Boeing KC-137.

                                                                                 Photo: Brazilian AF

"OperašŃo Amaz§nia"
This 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.

"Transportex 2012"
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.

"Barao I"
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.

In-flight refuelling

  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 several 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 Caša (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. One of the first night Northrop F-5E
air-refuelling by an KC-130H took place on May 76, involving two Tigers.

In 1985 the 2░/1░ GTT passed its 2 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 over the sky
  of Florianopolis.

  During the same year (1985) the 2░ Esquadrao/2░ Grupo de Transporte "Corsario" was activated, supplementing with its 4 Boeing KC-137 the KC-130Hs of the 1░/1░GT and enabling much
  more flexible refuelling conditions.They were equipped with 2 Beechcraft Model 1080 pods, enabling 2 aircrafts to be refuelled contemporarely, had an higher velocity and service ceiling
  in comparisation with the Lockheed KC-130s. The aircrafts were delivered between 1986 and 1987, first contact was with 4 Northrop F-5s on 02-12-86.

  One Boeing KC-137s crashed on 26-05-16; the remaining 3 were 0fficially deactivated on 10-10-13 (to be replaced by Embraer KC-390s) and sold to Israel for spares.

                                                                                Photo: Brazilian AF
                                                                        Two first lot Northrop F-5E being air-to-air refuelled while another is waiting for its turn

Newly modified Northrop F-5EM re-equipped 1░/4░ GAV which conducted between the 7th and the 17th May 2013 air-combat exercises with air-refuelling and interception missions.

   Excercise Sabre was held at Anapolis AB in June 2016, at least 3 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and 1 F-5M taking part.

   A Beyod Visual Range Weapons Launch Campaign for Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and Embraer AMX-1 was hold in
   Canoas AB    from 01-04-19 till 16-04-19 involving the 1st/1st GAvCa Jambock,
the 1st/4th GAvCa Pacau
   and the the 1st/14th GAvCa. Launched were a dozen Mectron MAA-1 Piranha assisted by speciallists of Mectron an
   Odebrecht Defense Technology and probably Rapahael Python 4. This excecise was promoted to train
pilots and
   squadrons    warfare spcialists; it included launches of several, different types of weapons.

    Also available was the Derby. Aircrafts/crews of the 1░/░ GAvCa, 1░/4░ GAvCa, and 1░/14░ GAvCa took part.
   Missiles MAA-1    were launched by an Embraer/Northrop F-5EM again a flare, also  launched by
an Embraer F-5EM.

Exercisio Tecnico BVR2/Sabre This excercise took place, starting from 20-08-18 and endied 06-09-18, at Anapolis AB, with the object to train personnel for BVR (Beyond Visual Range) operations.
Northrop F-5s were aircraft from: 1░ GAVCA, 1░GDA Jaguar; 1░/14░ GAV Pampa; 1░/4░ GAV, together with AMX and S, Tucano equipped units and the Navy Douglas A-4 of the VF-1. It was
trainining for the next
international Exercise.
The last operation of the excercise saw the Northrop F-5EM Derby a-a missiles aircrafts escorting Embraer A-1 (AMX) fighter bombers as well as reconnaissance Embraer RA-1 (AMX).

Exercisio Tecnico BVR3 Betwen November 10th and 14th 2019 a total of 12 infra-red Mectron MAA-1 Piranha, plus some 5 IAI Python 3/IAI Python 4 were launched over the Atlantic Ocean, 180 kms from
Canoas AB
in order to the test various air-to-air missiles equipping the Tigers.

"Exercicio Operacional Tinia"  2019
This joint Army-Air Force excercise was hold
betwen 08-11-19 and 03-12-19 in the Southern part of the country; it involved Wing 3 at Ala 3 and 4 based at Canoas AB and S. Maria AB wit
more than 50 fighter (among  which
the Ala 3 - 1░ Grupo Av Caša wiith Northrop 5 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and 1 F-5FM, Embraer A-1 /AMX, tansports, helicopters and reconnaissance aircrafts.

                                                                               Photo: Brazilian AF/Sgt Bianca
                                          Landing Embraer F-5EM 4846 during the Excercise Tinia 19, note badge Dimenšao Organisacion 11 on tail (see page Brazil units)

Exercicio Tinia 2020 ending on 27-01-20 was the second issue of the Tinia excercise, units partecipating were Alas 3 based a Canoas AB and Ala 4 based att Santa Maira AB

                                                                        Photo:  Diego Alves/Cavok
                                                                                            line-up of Embraer F-5EM partecipating to the excecise

Exercicio Tecnico Tiro/Combate Aereo F-5M 2021
This excercise saw 15 Embraer/Northrop F-5 from S Cruz Ab utilised (between the 5th and 16th July) by pilots of the 1░ GAvCa, 1░/4░ GAv and 1░/14░ GAv to excercise their visual and Beyond Visual
Range readiness to engage high performance aircrafts.

Exercicio Operacional Tinia 2021 It formed part of conventional air warfare training with the Brazilian Army, taking place between the 8th and 26th November 2021. The Air Force participation (Ala 3/4)
was between the 10th and 14th November
. Aircrafts participating were Embraer AMX, Super Tucano and Northrop F-5EM plus various transport aircrafts, helicopters and remotely piloted vehicles based at
Santa Maria AB

                               Photo:  Wilhan Campos/Brazilian AF                                                                
                                                                     Two 1░ Grupo Defenša Aerea/Ala 3 Embraer F-5EM taking-off from Santa Maria during excercise Tinia 2021
Exercicio Conjunto Escudo Tinia 2022
The excercise with the Brazilian Army and Navy wass kept between 07 and 25 Novmber 2022, fighter based at Canoas AB, Santa Maria and Boa Vista AB. The excercise simulated regional, conventional (particularly
in the air) combat and anti-aircrafts operations. Participating aircraft were Northrop F-5EM (17), Embraer AMX, Embraer A-29, Embraer R-99s.

                                                                                Sunshade hangarettes housing Embraer/Northrop F-5EM during the excercise

Exercicio de Combate Tecnico (EXETEC CBT F-5) Aircrafts from the 1░ GAVCa/Senta a Pua from Santa Cruz AB/Ala 12,  the 1░ GDA/Jaguar from Anapolis AB, the 1░/14░ Gruoi de Aviacion/Pampa, the 1░/4░ GAV/
Pacau participated to the
  which took place) between the 5th and 16th July 2021, excercise centered on Behind Visual Range (BVR) combat.

Ejercicio "REVO-CACA 2023"
Air-to-air refuelling excercise hold at Santa Cruz AB between the 03rd and 14th April 2023 near Canoas, by Embraer/Northrop F-5EM of both the 1░ GAvCa and 1░/14░ GAv, Embraer AMX, and Embraer KC-390 refuelling
This shows the importance given by the Brazilian AF to extend the range of its fighter aircrafts, mainly due to the vast extension of county's surface

Exercicio Escudo Tinia 2023
The 6th edition of the excercise, conjunct with Brazilian the Army and Navy, took place between 30-10-23 and 17-11-23. The 16 Tigers and Embraer E-99 of th Air Force were based at Canoas AB and Santa Maria ABt on
flight alert and for attacks.

                                                                             Photo: Brazilian AF
                                                                          Embraer/Northrop F-5EM 4863 of the1░/14░ GAv taking part at the excecise

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 participated.
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.

"Unitas 2015 " The 1░ GAvCa Embraer/Northrop F-5EM (together with Embraer AMX) fought in 20015 against US Navy McDonnell F-18 from the arcraft carrier USS George Washington to verify pilot's readiness;
initially with
Embraer/Nortrop F-5 and Embraer AMX executing bombing, both over the sea and land, while US Navy Donnell F-18 were the defencers. Next day were the roles inverted. Beyond Visual Range (BVR)
with Pyton 4 and
Within Visual Range (WVR) combats with cannons and short distance missiles; Lockheed KC-130 provided air refuelling and Embraer E-99 assured electronic coverage to the Brazilians.

The first combined USAF/Brazilian AF "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.

"Tiger II" 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
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", the deployment 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.

During "Tiger III" an USAF KC-135Rs refueled for the first time a Brazilian
F-5Es, using a drogue funnel fitted to the boom as normal USAF airrefueling booms are not compatiblewith the F-5 probe. The refuelling established that the two Air Forces could deploy together.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Photo: USAF
"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
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.

This is the only inter-South American (with additional countries participeting) excercise. Fighters have been mainly based at Natal AB, in-flight refuellers at Recife AB,  plus helicopters. It is based on the experience

in various armed conflicts (Kosovo, Gulf War, etc) and NATO procedures and 
developed into the most important combined South American/European excercise
   "Operašao Cruzeiro do Sul" also referred as "Cruzex I/2002"
Took place 29-04-02 ti1l 11-05-02 at Canoas AB; 5 Northrop F-5E from the ░/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)

  "Cruzex II", also referred as "Cruzex 2/2004"
  At the second edition the same countries and aircrafts were present, plus Venezuela (General Dynamics F-16, Mirage 50), flying from Natal AB and Fortaleza AB.

                                       frame 1          Photo: Guillermo Sentis
                                                           Versatility of the Northrop F-5E is shown here; serial carries Brazilian air-to-air missiles Piranha in March1999

"Cruzex III" 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 5 F-5EM, based at Anapolis for air-defence/strike, in
to several Brazilian strike-fighters. AEW, transport and rescue aircrafts and helicopters.
 Also present were
 Argentinian 2 McDonnel/Douglas A-4AR, 2 FMA IA.58 PucarÓ; France with 8 Dassault Mirage2000C/N, 1 Boeing E-3F;  Venezuela with 3 General Dynamics F-16A, 3 Dassault
 Mirage 50, 
2 Canadair VF-5A, 1 Boeing KC-707;  Chile with 6 Cessna A-37B; Uruguay with 3 Cessna A-37C, 3 FMA IA.58 PucarÓ.
This excercise was of particular importance due to the participation of F-5EM, the advanced French Mirage 2000 as well as  Early Warning aircrafts two Embraer R-99A and one French
Boeing E-3F. The combination of the AEW aircrafts and of Derby air-to-air missiles resulted in at least one
victorious Brazilian duel 
against the French combination, "shooting down" (according to unofficial 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 based at
Natal AB,
GAMD Mirage 2000(Brazil), GD F-16 (USA, Chile, Venezuela), Embreaer A-29 (Brazil, Ecuador),  IA-58 Uruguay and Cessna A-37 (Colombia, Uruguay)

 "Cruzex V" followed between 18-10-10 and 19-11-10 with the participation of 6 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM belonging to the 1░ Grupo de Aviašao de Caša 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 VI" 16 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and 1 Embraer/Northrop F-5FM belonging to the 1░ GAvCa, the 1░/14 GAvCaša and the 1░/4 GAvCaša 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-operation between aircrafts of different countries. Two Embraer E-99 (Emb-145) provided
   of participating aircrafts at low altitude.
   On November 2nd two Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and 2 GAMD Mirage 2000 were for the first time in-flight refuelled by a Colombian Boeing KC-767; 4 Colombian A-37s were in
   in-flight refuelled by an Brazilan Lockheed KC-130 the same day.
   The exercise was not conventional as it took place against insurgent/paramilita forces and not for the conflict between two countries.

"Cruzex VII" 2013 (same badge as Cruzex VI)
Brazil participated to the 2013 edition with 17 Embraer/Northrop F-5, held during 12 days in the Northern Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Permambuco flying from Natal AB and
Recife AB.
It lasted from 05-11-13 till 15-11-2013.
Other fighters from following countries participating: Chile (F-16s), Colombia (A-37), Ecuador (S. Tucano), USA (F-16s), Venezuela (F-16s) and Uruguay (A-37, Pucara).

                                                                       frame 1            Photo:  Brazilian AF
                                                                    Unlkely friendly companions...........Embraer F-5EM and Venezuelan F-16 1041 at Cruzex 2013

"Cruzex 2018" (same badge as Cruzex VI)

        Blue and red force pilot's badge. Aircrafts were alternatively assigned to blue (defensive) and red (attack) forces. Photos: Marcelo Borges

                                                                           Sgt Johnson/Brazilian AF
                                                                                Embraer F-5EM in company of an USAF F-16 and an Uruguayan A-37C

This excercise held betwwen 18 and 30-11-18; main focus was of conventional warfare. Brazil operated with Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and Embraer AMX fighters; Peru participated for the
first time with aircrafts, 4 Mirage 2000 and 4 Cessna A-37B; it had earlier sent only observers. From Uruguay came 4 Cessna A-37C
and Chile with 5 General Dynamict F-16 and 1 KC-135;
the USA with 6
General Dynamict F-16 and 1 KC-135; France sent only 1 C-135 transporter.

Dissimilar training Embraer/Northrop F-5EM and Embraer A-29 Super Tucano
First dissimilar training between an high-performance aircraft (cannon and Python armed F-5EM) and a low-performance (A-29 S. Tucano) took place between the 12th and 15th December 2016.
Involved were aircrafts
from 1░/4░ Esquadrao and the 1░/3░ Grupo Aviacao taking off from Manaus AB and Boa Vista AB.

Red Flag
The Forša 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░ GAv, taking place at Nellis AFB between July 21st and August 1st;
the aircrafts had
mainly escort duties for fighter-bombers (Turkish 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 F-5EM queing up 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 Aviašao de Caša participated in the air-to-air role, training missiles Python 4
were operational.
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. Operational availability of 95 percent was reached during more than 30 missions.

                                                                        Photo: Chilean AF
                                                                                  Uruguayan AF awaiting take-off clearance behind Brazilian Embraer F-5EM

"Salitre IV/2022" took place at  Antogasta (Chile) between the 10th and 21-10-22;  a mixed Group of 3 Embraer F-5EM from the 1░/14 GAv "Pampa" and 3 from
  2/1░GAvCa "Jambokc
"   took-off from Canoas AB on 08-10-22 and arrived at Antofagasta AB together with an Airbus KC-30 (A300-200) and Embraer KC-390;
  Argentine AF with Douglas A-4AR,   IA-63 Pampa III, Chilean AF with F-16s, A-36 and for the first time an AEW Boeing E-3A Sentry.
  One Embraer KC-390 (FAB 2857) excercised en-route air-to-air refuelling with the Brazilian Tigers, enabling a non-stop flight to Antofagasta AB

           Photo: Brazilian AF
                                                                          Embraer F-5EM from the 1░/14 GAv "Pampa" refuel from an Embraer KC-390

                                                                           Photo: Brazilian AF
                                                                                           Embraer F-5EM rolling on arrival at Antofgasta, Chile

Interception of a British Vulcan bomber

   The Falkland/Malvinas war gave an unexpected opportunity to test the air defence organisation and the
   Northrop F-5E.

   On June 3rd, 1982 Avro Vulcan Mk B.2 (serial XM597) returning from a strike mission armed with two live
    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 Northrop F-5E belonging 
to the 1░ GAvC were scrambled from Santa Cruz AB to
    intercept it, till that moment, unknown aircraft. This was 
intercepted when it was already on Brazilian territory.

    Photo: Aerovisao (probabaly fake?)

              As depicted on Veja newspaper on 09-06-82

Northern Air Defence
Retirement 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 Defence duties.

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.

During the 2016 Olympic Games Embraer/Northrop F-5EM, armed with Rafael Python 4 air-to-air missiles were transferred between 04 and August 21 from Natal AB to Manaus AB order to insure locally the air defence.


Operašao Princesa do Pampas

This operations took place between the 2nd and 6th November 2003. Four Northrop F-5E of the 1░ GAv, armed with each    two 500 Kilos BAFG-460 bombs, destroyed a clandestine runway in Serra de Caparroin in the middle of the Amazonas area  
together with
4 Embraer AMX, depared from Manaus AB. An Embraer E-99 (advanced control) and an KC-130 (twice             refuelling each aircraft) supported the operation.

    Runway seen after the "visit"

    Photo: Antonio Milena/Agencia Brasil

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.


Agata 2 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 F-5EM 4873 landing at Porto Velho AB on 20-11-11 in preparation of operation Agata 3.

  Agata 4 began on 02-05-11. The Northern border with Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam and  French Guyana was controlled with Embraer/Northrop F-5EM fighters, ground attack, early warning,
  reconnaissance and transport aircrafts.
  The map of the country shows the borders
(light green painted) involved in the operation.

  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.
The map of the country shows the borders (yellow painted) involved in the operation.

 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.
The map of the country shows the borders
(light green painted) involved in the operation.

  Agata 7 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.


frame 1      Photo: Brazilian AF/cb V.Santos     
Early morning take-off for Agata 7 exercise from Canoas AB 28-05-2013

Operations Agata 8 up to Agata 11 took place in 2014 and 2017; no Embraer/Northrop F-5 are known to have partecipated.

"Operašao Posse 2019"
Held at Brasilia from 010110 this was air defence excercise involving the Brazilian Army with ground-to-air missiles, Embraer/Northorp F-5EM and Embraer A-39 Super Tucano

Target Towing
       Photo: unknown
                                                       Northrop F-5E serial 4826, 1░/14 GAv "Pampa", used for target towing with TDU-10/B in 1977, used till 1982

       Photo: archive Northrop F-5 enthusiast
                                                                   Northrop F-5E serial 4830, 1░ GAvCa with later target pod Equipeer AV-CAA SECAPEM
Air-to-Air refueling
Air-to-air refulling for such a vast country and the limited range of its fighter/fighter-bombers was vital; beginning 1990s 2 Lockheed KC-130Ms were bought. They are in service with the Ala 11

                                                                                Air Force Past:    Lockheed KC-130/ Embraer/Northrop F-5E (first lot)

     Photo: unknown

Air Force present:    Lockheed KC-130/ Embraer/Northrop F-5EM                                                        Air Force future:   KC-390/ Embraer/Northrop F-5EM

frame 1                  frame 1
                                                                                                                      Photos: Brazilian Air Force    
Three Embraer F-5EM of the 1░ Grupo Defensa Aerea and 1░/4░ Grupo Aviašao                                 First in-flight refuelling trials from the new Embraer KC-390 took place on 04-05-16, Tiger
participated to an in-flight refuelling training between the 15 and 21 october 2017 taking off               serials 4854 and 4828, followed by a "wet" successful sortie (involving Embraer/Northrop F-5EMs)
from Anapolis AB. Fuel delivery was by an Lockheed KC-130 of Wing 2.                                           
near Santa Cruz AB on 19-02-17.

The first night in flight refuelling of an embraer/Northrop F-5EM 1░GAvCa by an KC-390 Millenium based at Galeao AB took place on 26-06-23; it transferred 3'000 lbs of fuel as a furthe improvement
of the remaining Tigers.

On 18-10-2016 till 26-19-16 an air-to-air refuelling excercise between 3 Embraer/Northrop F-5EM of 1░ GrCaša and the Navy' s Grupo Aereo de Defensa  Esquadrao VF-1 (one two-seater and one single-
seater Douglas A-4). The Embraer/Northrop F-5Es took-off from Anapolis AB.


    EmbraerF-5EM 4847 flight-refuelled by Navy TA-4 N-1021 in October 2016.                              
Embraer F-5EM 4847 and 4820 in flight with Navy TA-4 TA-4 N-1021 and A-4
Photo: Major Romanelli/Brazilian AF                                                                                 N-1004 in special colours coomemorating 15 years of Naval aviation Photo: Captain Magno/Brazilian AF

                                                                             frame 1
   Photo: Brazilian AF
                                                                               Pilot's view from an Embraer F-5EM refuelled by a Navy Douglas A-4