Brazil Exports First M2M-enabled Aircraft for the Military

FT sistemas Horus FT-100

Guest post by Eva Enanoria, LeadingQuest.

Drones are one of the many applications that involves M2M communication technology today. These M2M-enabled aircrafts, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), do not have a human pilot aboard and rely mostly on onboard computers that are controlled remotely. As the concept of connected and driverless cars is gradually being adapted, pilot-less aircrafts have long been made a reality. In fact, military agencies all over the world have been using drones and other remotely controlled machines and devices in their operations. In fact, the U.S. military recently deployed a drone force in Nigeria, an African country, to help look for the hundreds of women kidnaped by the Moslem militant group, Boko Haram. Considering Africa’s current regional arms race, alternative probably candidates embody African nation, which features a long-standing border dispute with Morocco, and Egypt, which is battling Sunni rebels in the peninsula.

Nevertheless, these M2M-enabled aircrafts are not simply employed in military warfare. Some M2M applications involving drones are also used in a small but increasing number of civil applications such as firefighting and other non-military security work like pipelines and surveillance. Recently these M2M-enabled aircrafts are also used for commercial purposes such the Amazon Prime Air that picks up and delivers packages through a drone aircraft.

More recently, the São Paulo-based FT Sistemas S.A, one of the country’s large producers of UAV, will soon have the first Brazilian-made drone to be heading to Africa. The company did not disclose details about the said project, but confirmed that this will be done before the end of the year. The Horus is an exploration, military vehicle and too lightweight to hold artillery and weapons. The M2M-enabled aircraft’s infrared capabilities enable ground troops to recognize targets in real time from an instrument that may be conducted by troopers on the ground. It weighs approximately fifteen pounds, thereby making the M2M-enabled aircraft to be transportable by foot troopers.

“The Horus FT-100 was designed in conjunction with the Brazilian Army, to be used in typical applications of short range performed by platoons, companies or even battalions,” according to FT Sistemas S.A in a statement last July 28.

Brazil is obviously becoming a major participant in the modern military equipment such as these M2M-enabled aircrafts, particularly in emerging and growing markets that cannot afford expensive military equipments from Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corporation or Britain’s BAE Systems PLC. Even so, the market is still highly dominated by Israel and the US.

A statement from IHS Jane’s Defence Industry said:
“The UAV market remains dominated by the U.S. and Israeli defense contractors, but other nations have been heavily investing in the technology, especially for more cost-effective, less technologically advanced solutions”.

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