Brazil’s Army Chooses Israeli Guns, Despite Lula’s Criticism

by | May 2, 2024 | Company Reporting | 0 comments

In the midst of political tensions between Israel and Brazil over the war with Hamas, the Brazilian army has decided to upgrade its artillery array and purchase 36 new self-propelled guns of the Atmos type from Israel’s Elbit Systems. The deal, estimated to be worth between $150-200 million, comes after a lengthy examination procedure conducted by the Brazilian army, during which it considered a range of cannons offered by arms manufacturers from around the world.

The Atmos guns, which are 155 mm cannons carried on 6×6 off-road trucks, have the capability to hit targets at a distance of approximately 40 kilometers. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) will also be equipped with similar cannons in the coming years, as Elbit Systems has already sold these cannons to armies around the world, including the Philippines and Denmark.

According to Brazilian publications, the plan to equip the land army with the new cannons is likely have been influenced by Elbit Systems’ extensive activity in the country, where it owns the ARES subsidiary. Elbit’s presence in Brazil may facilitate the provision of maintenance services for the cannons that will be delivered to the military. Additionally, Elbit has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian authorities to increase the production capacity of 155 mm shells adapted to its Atmos guns in Brazil, while transferring knowledge on the subject.

The Brazilian army’s choice of the Israeli cannons comes at a time of intense tension between the two countries, against the background of the war in Gaza and harsh criticism that Brazilian President Luiz Incio da Silva (Lula) has levelled at Israel on several occasions during the past few months, accusing it of “genocide.” Following the unfounded accusation on his part, that Israel allegedly “murdered over 12 million Palestinian children”, Foreign Minister Israel Katz stated that Lula is an unwanted personality in Israel until he apologizes for his words.

Meanwhile, Elbit Systems reported on Tuesday on a deal under which it will supply the short-term air defence system “Red Sky” to a foreign customer. The company refused to name the country to which it will export the system, in the amount of approximately $50 million. This is the first time that a foreign country has purchased the full “Red Sky” system that enables protection against low-flying suicide drones, cruise missiles, and drones. This system is based on radar that detects approaching threats and has the power to launch missiles at them or intercept them with a 30-caliber cannon mm.

Image credit: Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Lula (Adriano Machado/Reuters)


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