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In a significant stride towards enhancing bilateral defence cooperation, the Chief of the Armed Forces from Brazil is set to embark on a visit to India this August. The visit aims to explore various Indian-made weapon systems that could bolster Brazil’s defence capabilities and reciprocally present Brazilian offerings to India. This strategic exchange holds the potential to strengthen the defence ties between the two nations, opening doors to collaborative endeavours that could redefine the future of defence technology.

One of the key areas of focus during this visit is the Brazilian Air Force’s fleet modernization, which has seen the recent induction of F-39E Gripen fighters procured from Sweden’s Saab Group. These new fighters are intended to replace Brazil’s ageing Northrop F?5EM and Dassault Mirage 2000C aircraft. While the F-39E Gripen fighters are equipped with Meteor Beyond-Visual-Range (BVR) missiles and IRIS-T Close Combat Missiles, the Brazilian Air Force is exploring avenues to enhance their capabilities further.

India’s indigenously developed Astra Mk1 BVR missile has emerged as a compelling option for the Brazilian Air Force. With a price point of approximately $1 million per unit, the Astra Mk1 missile presents a cost-effective solution without compromising on performance. This BVR missile boasts a striking range of up to 110 kilometres, positioning it as a formidable asset for air-to-air combat scenarios. India already has equipped its Russian Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft with the Astra Mk1 BVR missile that has proven its efficacy, further substantiating its potential as an attractive option for the Brazilian Air Force.

The Astra missile’s compatibility with various fighter jets is noteworthy. India’s ongoing plans to integrate the Astra MkI missile into the Mig-29UPG, Rafale, and LCA-Tejas Mk1 fighter jets illustrate its versatility and adaptability to different platforms.

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