The Brazilian Naval Aviation (Aviação Naval Brasileira) is upgrading its four Grumman C-1A Trader aircraft to KC-2 standard. Earlier Marsh Aviation was reported to be the sole upgrader, but Israeli based Elbit Systems is involved, according to a Elbit press release of 23 December.
The work will be done by the US subsidiary Elbit Systems of America and is a major subcontract valued at US$ 106 million, to be performed over a five-year period. The upgrade work will be done in San Antonio, Texas, at the facilities of M7 Aerospace under the supervision of Brazilian Navy officers who are currently deployed to San Antonio.
When upgraded, the Grumman C-1A aircraft will be designated as KC-2 COD/AAR (Carrier-On-Board / Air-to-Air Refueling) aircraft for the ultimate use on the Brazilian Navy’s aircraft carrier, the NAe São Paulo.
The Grumman C-1A upgrade will include aircraft return to service, engine replacement, installation and integration of new avionics (Glass Cockpit), new communication systems and ECS systems, and tanker capabilities.
Skyhawks vs Navy Gripen
The Brazilian Navy has a dozen carrier-capable Douglas A-4 Skyhawks, due to be retired in 2025. One of the possible successors is a navalized version of the SAAB JAS 39 Gripen. SAAB in Linköping, Sweden, says that version doesn’t need much adaption to the original Gripen-C/D or -E and can be available rather quick once a buyer is found.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, including source information provided by Elbit Systems