Brazil Navy Skyhawks
Point of Contact - Squadron Duty Officer (SDO)
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With United States cooperation, in 1997 Brazil negotiated a $70 million contract for purchase of twenty A-4KU and three TA-4KU Skyhawks from Kuwait. The Kuwaiti Skyhawks, modified A-4Ms and TA-4Js delivered in 1977, were among the last of those models built by Douglas.
The Kuwaiti Skyhawks were selected by Brazil because of low flight time, excellent physical condition, and a favorable price tag. Re-designated AF-1 and AF-1A Falcõnes (Hawks), the ex-Kuwaiti Skyhawks arrived in Brazil in early September 1998 and were placed in overhaul maintenance status for significant upgrading. The upgrading program is continuing and AF-1 and AF-1A Falcõnes are currently operational in Brazil.
Initial training of Brazilian Skyhawk pilots was conducted in both Argentina and the United States, the latter by Training Squadron Seven (VT-7) at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi.
On 18 January 2001, an AF-1 trapped aboard the Brazilian aircraft carrier Minas Gerais (A- 11) and later was successfully catapulted, making Brazil's fixed-wing carrier force operational.
To replace the aging Minas Gerais, Brazil purchased the surplus French aircraft carrier Fochon 15 November 2001. Renamed Saõ Paulo (A12), the "new" carrier received extensive refitting before becoming operational in 2003. Minas Gerais was decommissioned and retired that year.
APR 2009: Brazil is working to keep their Skyhawks current! Provided by Amaury Acatauassu.
APR 2014: A modernization contract with Embraer running through 2015 was signed in 2009 to upgrade a mix of 12 AF-1A aircraft. They are currently flying a mix of upgraded and older KU’s as a select dozen are rotated through the program. By 2015 we expect these upgraded KU’s to be the only ones active. Estimate: 9 single seat AF-1B and 3 AF-1C.
Update 27APR18: Brazil receives first modernised twin-seat Skyhawk.
On Oct 9, 2013, at 20:20, "Carlos Lima" wrote:
My name is Carlos Lima and I am an editor of the Brazilian Web Site, Defesa Aero Naval.
Some links to the latest:
Brazilian Navy AF-1 (A4KU to AF-1 to *AF-1B)
Status as reported JUN 2011
N-1001: 160180 Kuwait 1,842.2 flt. hrs.; Brazil 104.4 flt. hrs.; last flt.=06AUG 202; in modernizaton process.
N-1002: 160181 Kuwait 802 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1003: 160183 Kuwait 804 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1004: 160186 Kuwait 1,635.9 flt. hrs.; Brazil 624.9 flt. hrs.; last flt.=31AUG 2007; in modernization process as spare
N-1005: 160188 Kuwait 809 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1006: 160189 (N-1006): Kuwait 1,279.1 flt. hrs.; Brazil 55.3 flt. hrs.; last flt.=16JAN2001; selected to be alienated.
N-1007: 160190 Kuwait 811 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1008: 160192 Kuwait 1,576.9 flt. hrs.; Brazil 173.4 flt. hrs.; last flt.=26AUG 2004; in in the modernization process.
N-1009: 160193 Kuwait 814 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1010: 160195 Kuwait 816 Brazilian Navy as AF-1 ser. no. N-1010.
N-1011: 160196 Kuwait 1,586.3 flt. hrs.; Brazil 833.6 flt. hrs.; last flt.=12AUG2010; in the Flight Line, included in the modernization process.
N-1012: 160197 Kuwait 818 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1013: 160198 Kuwait 819 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1014: 160199 Kuwait 820 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1015: 160201 Kuwait 822 BuNo. Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1016: 160202 Kuwait 823 Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1016: 160203 Kuwait 1,661.9 flt. hrs.; Brazil 13.9 flt. hrs.; last flt.=25JUN2001; in modernization process as spare.
N-1018: 160204 Kuwait 825 BuNo. Brazilian Navy as AF-1.
N-1019: 160205 Kuwait 1,528.9 flt. hrs.; Brazil 0 flt. hrs.; last flt AUG1993; selected to alienated.
N-1020: 160206 Kuwait 1,376 flt. hrs.; Brazil 2.2 flt. hrs.; last flt.=10OCT2000; selected to be alienated.
AF-1A (3 TA-4J upgraded to TA-4KU, upgraded to AF-1A, then to *AF-1C)
Status as reported JUN 2011
N-1021: 160212 Kuwait 1,492.5 flt. hrs.; 1363.4 flt. hrs.; last flt.=6AUG2010; in the Flight Line, included in the modernization process.
N 1022: 160213 Kuwait 1,616.2 flt. hrs.; Brazil 922.7 flt. hrs.; last flt.=12AUG2010; in the Flight Line, included in the modernization process.
N-1023: 160215 Kuwait 1,757.3 flt. hrs.; Brazil 43.5 flt. hrs.; last flt.=29SEP2000; delivered to EMBRAER on 20JUL2010 for modernization.
16 APR 2009: *Upgrade for nine AF-1 and three AF-1A Skyhawks.
Special report about the 97 Years of Brazilian Naval Aviation - The VF1 Squadron (it has a summary of the items upgraded in the Brazilian A-4s)
VF-1 Celebrates 15 years with commemorative livery - The "Hawk" is due to the code name the A-4 has in the Brazilian Navy "Falcões" (Hawks).
Date unknown: Google Earth image, Navio Aerodrome Salo Paulo at her berth at Rio de Janerio. Note the one Skyhawk on her deck.