The Straits Times
Published on Nov 27, 2012

Jetmaker Embraer inks border contract, mulls shipbuilding


SAO PAULO (REUTERS) - Brazilian jetmaker Embraer SA secured a contract for more than US$400 million (S$490 million) for equipment to monitor Brazil's borders and has turned its attention to the coastline, as it considers expanding into building navy patrol ships, the company said on Monday.

The new defence ventures are part of Embraer's push to supplement its flagging commercial and private aviation business with new revenue from Brazil's growing military budget.

The latest step in that direction is the contract, worth 839 million reais (S$493 million), to supply the Brazilian army with radar and other surveillance equipment during the first phase of a security program along 650km of border with Bolivia and Paraguay.

Brazil plans to expand surveillance to more than 16,000km of land border, marking a strategic shift for a country whose economic rise has increased a flood of drugs, illegal immigrants and other contraband.