Blackwater buys Tucano

#1
http://www.reuters.com/article/BROKER/idUSN0138902920080601

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer has sold one of its fighter planes to Blackwater Worldwide, the world's largest private defense services company that has been under investigation for killings in Iraq, a local paper said on Sunday.

Albeit modest in scale, the sale may be a coup in the competitive U.S. defense market for Brazil and Embraer, both of which have been attempting to carve out a niche in the lucrative global arms trade.

The deal between Embraer and Blackwater subsidiary EP Aviation is estimated at $4.5 million, the local O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper said, adding that the plane was registered with the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency under N314TG.

The sleek black and gray 314-B1 Super Tucano propeller- driven fighter, which resembles a World War Two P-51 Mustang, was flown from Embraer headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos in February to a corporate airport in Elizabeth City, Virginia.

Blackwater President Gary Jackson's spokesman confirmed the sale of the aircraft and that it would be used in training exercises, the report said. The plane is the same as is used by the Brazilian Air Force, but the dual 0.50 caliber wing-mounted machine guns were removed, the report said.

The sale would have likely been cleared by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and negotiated directly with the U.S. government as Brazilian law forbids selling military equipment to companies or for use in existing wars.

But Brazilian government officials and Embraer declined to comment on the record about the sale, according to report. Neither were available for comment on Sunday, when called by Reuters.

Blackwater, formed in 1997 by ex-Navy Seal Erik Prince and Al Clark, guards U.S. government personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It is under investigation by the FBI over the killing of several Iraqi civilians in a crowded Baghdad square in September 2007.

(Reporting by Reese Ewing, Editing by Maureen Bavdek)
The shape of things to come, or the Blackwater Summer Sunday grand tourer?

For that sort of money I could have got them at least a trio of L-39's :D
 
#2
The sale would have likely been cleared by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and negotiated directly with the U.S. government as Brazilian law forbids selling military equipment to companies or for use in existing wars.
Since when exactly have American government authorities started acting as international purchasers of military hardware for specific private firms in order to circumvent the law of another country?

Was the government reimbursed by Blackwater for any expenses incurred?
Did Blackwater decide it wanted this piece of kit, saw legal obstacles so then went and asked the US government to purchase it on their behalf?

Seems like a misuse of public services to me.
This is what happens in these Public/Private partnerships. Rather than the private part acting as a provider of services to the public the private bit ends up, over time, using the public agencies to service its own (shareholders) needs.

This is just another case of the corporate takeover of the public weal.
And this, much more than any Islamic fundamentalism is the true threat to our democracy.
 
#3
could this continue to expand? we have private companies training army personnel in this country if im correct? whats next, private airforce, private navy??

I say we buy the warships the Government can't afford, and then offer our services to the Government when they need a few extra ships? same could apply to transport and AAR platforms,

Good thing or bad thing???

Duncan
 
#4
On Albert Square, Henno's brother has two flying for Queen Vic Airlines SA, a company registered in Dubai
 
#5
EthanEdwards11 said:
The sale would have likely been cleared by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and negotiated directly with the U.S. government as Brazilian law forbids selling military equipment to companies or for use in existing wars.
Since when exactly have American government authorities started acting as international purchasers of military hardware for specific private firms in order to circumvent the law of another country?

Was the government reimbursed by Blackwater for any expenses incurred?
Did Blackwater decide it wanted this piece of kit, saw legal obstacles so then went and asked the US government to purchase it on their behalf?

Seems like a misuse of public services to me.
This is what happens in these Public/Private partnerships. Rather than the private part acting as a provider of services to the public the private bit ends up, over time, using the public agencies to service its own (shareholders) needs.

This is just another case of the corporate takeover of the public weal.
And this, much more than any Islamic fundamentalism is the true threat to our democracy.
Yep you are absolutely right, I'm equally outraged by this.
 
#6
Dunc0936 said:
could this continue to expand? we have private companies training army personnel in this country if im correct? whats next, private airforce, private navy??

I say we buy the warships the Government can't afford, and then offer our services to the Government when they need a few extra ships? same could apply to transport and AAR platforms,

Good thing or bad thing???

Duncan
You want to take a look at the American Air Force online adverts. They seem to have forgotten that they are paid for by the American taxpayer to protect them and America.
They come across like a privately run version of SMERSH, providers of full spectrum dominance services for those who can afford them.

The world going mad I tell you. The worlds going mad.
 
#7
This all sounds like a repeat of Civil Air Transport, Air America et al
 
#8
The sale would have likely been cleared by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and negotiated directly with the U.S. government as Brazilian law forbids selling military equipment to companies or for use in existing wars.
Apart from dragging the dignity of state through the mud, which he does on a regular basis, there might be one or two other problems with this Arthur Daley style scam pulled by the smirking chimp.

Were the Brazilians aware when they did the deal who exactly was the real end user?
If they weren't then the American government has shown contempt for Brazil and broken a raft of international law pertaining to arms sales.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Aaah the good old days of the East India Company . . . THEY knew how to get things done!
 
#10
well say I form a company to buy a fleet of heavy lift transport aircraft, C17's, Antonov An-124's, as well as some Boeing's and Airbus aircraft for AAR, then offered them for lease to the RAF for when they needed them whats wrong with that?

in an idea world the armed forces would have the money they needed for the kit they want, and believe me, I'm one of the biggest civvy supporters of the armed forces. However if the Americans can do this with their big budgets then perhaps this might not be a bad idea if its done correctly,

You might over come the pilot shortages that way, servicing would be better as the company would decide when the platforms needed replacing not the RAF/MOD.

However I DON'T agree with private amies, this is a doggie area to go into as far as I'm concerned.

You could go as far as the RFA, and some warships like HMS Ocean, privately owned and run by part civvy and part Navy crew, control being in Navy hands when in the time of conflict especially if weapons are to be used,

Only my thoughts anyway, I doubt any investors would go for it anyway


Duncan
 
#11
I'm trying to work out what they want the damn thing for. Used for training?

Does that imply they will be training their staff to bring in air missions? It implies that they have comms to US air. That's the only fixed wing they could have accesss to that I can think off.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
in_the_cheapseats said:
I'm trying to work out what they want the damn thing for. Used for training?

Does that imply they will be training their staff to bring in air missions? It implies that they have comms to US air. That's the only fixed wing they could have accesss to that I can think off.
There is the distinct possibility that Blackwater will take over some deniable covert ops for the CIA. Every time the CIA or DOD gets caught doing naughty things, like Iran-Contra, Bay of Pigs, Air America et al, the gobment gets egg on face.

If all goes t!ts-up with Blackwater getting caught, the US gobment can shout and yell about naughty PMCs and use it as an excuse to legislate to bring them to heal once their stirling work in 2 current wars is over.
 
#14
Dunc0936
well say I form a company to buy a fleet of heavy lift transport aircraft, C17's, Antonov An-124's, as well as some Boeing's and Airbus aircraft for AAR, then offered them for lease to the RAF for when they needed them whats wrong with that?
Nothing at all. Freddie Laker bought up war surplus planes at the end of the second world war then made a killing with them helping execute British foreign policy creating a cargo air bridge during the Berlin Blockade. Private and public working in harmony each knowing their place.
Here we have a case of the American government apparently subverting the law of another nation to possibly illegally aquire an aircraft for the commercial benefit of a particular private concern.


in_the_cheapseats
I'm trying to work out what they want the damn thing for. Used for training?
It might be worth bearing in mind that Blackwater is getting lots of contracts from the Dept of Homeland Security for internal domestic work.
Would this craft be suitable for border patrol duties for instance?

Why doesn't someone knowledgeable about fixed wing jobbies get a pic and specs of this puppy up on the board so that we all might have a look see as to what it might be used for.
 
#15
Biped
There is the distinct possibility that Blackwater will take over some deniable covert ops for the CIA. Every time the CIA or DOD gets caught doing naughty things, like Iran-Contra, Bay of Pigs, Air America et al, the gobment gets egg on face.
Terrifying isn't it?
I think you are right. Blackwater is becoming the institutionalized public face and provider of deniable ops to the American government.
And no one need complain because it is a profitable growing industry in which the private investor can now buy shares. Private Deniable ops. providers now join other service industry providers and will be listed on the New York stock exchange.

Morality, legality and public accountability go down the plug hole as share price and dividends increases in value.

I've said it before, I'll say it again - the world is going mad.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#16
happybonzo said:
This all sounds like a repeat of Air America et al
Nah, this thing is too small to carry a decent payload of smack. Border patrols would be my uneducated guess. The following is in the public domain.

N314TG is: Assigned

Aircraft Description

Serial Number: 31400082
Type Registration: Corporation
Manufacturer Name: EMBRAER-EMPRESA BRASILEIRA DE
Certificate Issue Date: 02/21/2008
Model: EMB-314B1
Status: Valid
Type Aircraft: Fixed Wing Single-Engine
Type Engine: Turbo-Fan
Pending Number Change: None
Dealer: No
Date Change Authorized: None
Mode S Code: 50653535
MFR Year: None
Fractional Owner: NO


Registered Owner

Name: EP AVIATION LLC
Street: 1650 TYSONS BLVD STE 800
City: MCLEAN
State: VIRGINIA
Zip Code: 22102-4844
County: FAIRFAX
Country: UNITED STATES
 
#17
The Boss of Blackwater has got Quintillions of Dollars, and has Septic government in his arse pocket, so he can buy what he wants without interference, plus, septics LOVE Blackwater as a fine upstanding Christian Organisation.
 
#19
EthanEdwards11 said:
Why doesn't someone knowledgeable about fixed wing jobbies get a pic and specs of this puppy up on the board so that we all might have a look see as to what it might be used for.
Ethan,

I've uploaded a couple of pics of a Brazilian A-29B Super Tucano, and it's rear cockpit to give you an idea of it's avionics. Once they've got through the ARRSE censor, I'll post them. The A-29A is a single seat variant.

In short, the Super Tucano is a very capable clear weather CAS aeroplane in service with several nations. It is used primarily in the COIN/anti-drug role where it has proved particularly useful in engaging drug running helos and light aircraft.

On the positive side it is robust and relatively easy to maintain so can be used in austere locations. It has a decent payload including precision rockets and could potentially carry a modern targeting pod such as Litening 3 or Sniper. Finally, it's NVG compatible avionics are nice and modern and similar to some modern fast jets and helos.

On the negative side, whilst it has a good endurance per se, it lacks the ability to extend with air-air refuelling. Speed wise it falls between helos and the A-10 so transit time to incidents could be an issue. As an illustration, whilst I know land forces love the A-10, the Warthog is often unable to provide CAS even when able because it transits at such a slow speed. Like the A-10, it is also significantly affected by poor weather.

The use of rotary and fixed wing assets by 'private' companies raises a lot of concerns:

1. How are they coordinated with military air and aviation? Are they given access to the Airspace Coord Order/SPINS/Op Task Comms etc?

2. How do you verify the level of their training with regards comms, EW, operational procedures, ROE, CSAR, crypto etc?

3. What Defensive Aids System (DAS) are they equipped with? Does it interfere with friendly systems?

4. If they are shot down, who provides CSAR? Are the aircrew flying with the appropriate CSAR kit?

I've seen increasing amounts of contractor involvement in ops over the years. Even those operated by very experienced former military aircrew tend to be, how can I put it, problematic at times. In fact, their very experience can sometimes be a problem as they tend to adopt a '...it wasn't like that in my day! I'll just crack on and hope for the best...' approach!

Contractorised CAS will need VERY careful integration into the battlespace, both in terms of land, air and aviation.

Regards,
MM
 
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