With 700 exhibitors and more than 41 thousand estimated visitors, the largest edition ever of LAAD is taking place from 14 to 17th April in Rio de Janeiro. This year, exhibitors from 40 countries, Norway included, are searching for business opportunities at the event, which is Latin America’s main defense & security fair.
Brazil is responsible for 40 percent of the exhibiting companies, including aircraft producer Embraer. The country is expanding its naval fleet to increase regional maritime security by procuring Amazonas Class Ocean Patrol Vessels from UK and France. Also, Brazil is building five submarines to patrol its massive coast – four Scorpene attack submarines and one powered by a nuclear reactor.
The submarines, which will replace an ageing fleet of five conventional subs, are being built at a sprawling complex in Itaguaí, south of Rio de Janeiro. The project is a joint venture between the navy, Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht and French state defense firm DCNS. Both countries signed a deal for the project in 2008 under which DCNS is providing building materials and training while Brazil builds up its own submarine industry and develops the nuclear reactor and enriched uranium. The nuclear submarine is supposed to start to be built in 2017.
Local demand for defense & security solutions
Strong growth in the industry is being fueled by these and other major projects. Brazil’s international sporting events are boosting the country’s spending on the homeland security as spectators from all parts of the world attenedd the 2014 Football World Cup and plan to attend the 2016 Olympic Games. The country has invested significantly in command and control centers, training, and security equipment such as mobile police stations, boats, cameras, anti-bomb systems, video-walls, radio communications, media intelligence monitoring, video-monitoring and cyber security software.
General Campos, Southeast Region Militar Commandant, said Brazilian suppliers are increasing production capacity at a significantly fast pace, although some sophisticated technology may still not be interesting for the industry to produce locally or to invest in research and development due to limited demand by the Brazilian Armed Forces. In an interviewed to Revista do APL de Defesa do Grande ABC (a magazine by São Paulo ABC region’s Defense Local Production Arrangement), the commandant talked about the importance of the defense industry for the domestic security and the opportunities that it creates for local companies.
Today, only few countries have industrial capacity to produce locally its complete demand for defense equipment. Brazil has a defense system compatible with its size; a robust system articulated with the country’s development, added General Campos.
Introducing high-pressure inflatable shelter solutions
NorLense is already present in Brazil with its oil spill recovery solution. The company from Lofoten is now introducing its wide range of shelter solutions in the Brazilian market. The inflatable tents use high-pressure technology and are single-point inflated, not requiring constant air supply. NorLense shelters are suitable for high-demanding, complex operations and can be easily set up in 15-20 minutes with minimum personnel required.
Additionally, the tents are available with inner liner, air compressor, air conditioning/heating, lighting and furniture in one complete package to form a unified infrastructure solution. The products are resistant to adverse weather conditions and have been tested in operations in Norway, Sweden, Canada, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Chile, among others.
Possible applications include accommodation, field hospital, operational base, mobile storage, garage, maintenance area, among others. Click to see the video below:
Norwegian companies are promoting leading technology
Kongsberg Defence Systems is displaying its Penguin missile, a highly effective weapon with accurate navigation system and sophisticated passive infra-red homing array, which ensures its ability to operate in close proximity to land whilst being immune to all known radar countermeasures, IR-decoys and jamming. Brazil has bought Kongsberg’s Penguin missiles to be deployed on the Brazilian Navy’s new maritime helicopters.
Norwegian Special Mission manufactures both the UNIFIS 3000 Flight Inspection System and the SEAHUNTER 8000 Airborne Surveillance System, which are optimized for efficient operation and to serve as powerful mission systems to cope with demanding calibration and surveillance operation.
The Norwegian company ProxDynamics is displaying its PD-100 Black Hornet PRS, the first airborne and commercially available Personal Reconnaissance System. It provides end users with a highly mobile sensor system for immediate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. These nano air vehicles are inherently safe and pose virtually no risk to other air vehicles or personnel, allowing the system to be operated almost anywhere at any time without prior airspace coordination.
Other Norwegian suppliers exhibiting at LAAD include the world-leading provider of boat handling systems Vestdavit and the Nordic ammunition company Nammo, which produces small arms, medium and large caliber ammunition, missile products and space applications.
SAAB and Brazil signed contract fighter aircraft Gripen NG
SAAB has recently won a long-disputed contract with the Brazilian Air Force for the development and production of 36 Gripen NG. A replica of the fighter aircraft is displayed in the stand of the Swedish company at LAAD. The company is also exhibiting its Erieye AEW&C aircraft surveillance system for target detection.
According to the president of SOFF (Swedish Security and Defence Industry Association) Robert Limmegård, there are more than 200 Swedish companies present in Brazil. A memorandum of understanding between SOFF and the Brazilian sister-organization ABIMDE is going to be signed during LAAD. SOFF has 65 members and represents about 95 percent of the Swedish defense industry.