India’s Akash SAM and Chinese Sky Dragon 50 (DK-10) SAM systems are under evaluation

The ordinance was met with surprise in the Brazilian market. Until then, it was understood among local stakeholders that the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) would be responsible for high-altitude air defence systems, and the Army would only lead short and medium-range air defence projects, reported Brazilian media Zona-Militar.

In November 2023, the Brazilian Army had issued a Request for Quote (RFQ) to research the prices of medium-altitude air defence systems available in national and international markets. In February 2024, a second RFQ was published to gather additional information.

During a public hearing at the Committee on Foreign Relations and National Defence (CREDN) of the Chamber of Deputies in April this year, Army Commander General Tomás Miguel Paiva expressed concern about the absence of medium and high-altitude air defence systems in the country.

In his initial presentation at the CREDN, the military official stated that Brazil is “relatively protected” up to 3,000 meters in altitude but lacks more sophisticated technologies for national territory protection. He later told the deputies that he intended to suggest to the Ministry of Defence a “government-to-government” agreement with India to acquire the medium-range Akash anti-aircraft missile.

Brazil’s Approach To Defence with BRICS

Next month, the Army Commander will officially visit China for ten days to evaluate the competencies of the local defence industrial base and discuss opportunities for bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Army’s strategic programs. An Army delegation visited China in the second half of last year.

During that visit, the group had the opportunity to witness a live-fire demonstration of the DK-10 medium-altitude surface-to-air missile system—also known as Sky Dragon 50 or Tianlong-50—and the SH15 self-propelled howitzer, both manufactured by the state-owned China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO).

In a recent interview, General Tomás Miguel Paiva, who previously visited India officially, advocated for a strategic and pragmatic approach of Brazil with BRICS countries, arguing that the country should not be “swayed by ideological polarization.”

(With Inputs With Brazilian Media)