JED - April 2011 - (Page 30)

30 0 The Journal of Electronic Defense | April 2011 2011 011 01 1 Long dismissed as a third world region riven by military coups, poverty and narco gangs, Central and South America are moving away from their pasts and, in cases such as Brazil, have the potential to become the economic powerhouses of the new century. Against this, the blight of narcotics trafficking remains a huge drag on states such as Colombia and (particularly) Mexico, and real progress will not be possible until this trade is at least under control if not eradicated. Ironically, the war against drugs has had a positive impact on Electronic Warfare (EW) sales into the region, as communications intelligence (COMINT) is a significant weapon in the fight against the drug barons. EW activity in the region can be roughly divided into trickle down and new procurements, with the former having played a significant part in the con- tinent’s ability to field EW equipment during the recent past. In the future, increasing wealth derived from oil and gas reserves (such as those off Brazil and Argentina) are likely to fund new equipment procurement, with (again ironically) acquisition being in part driven by fears over US intentions in the region and hostility towards the UK over the non-resolution of the Falklands/Malvinas dispute. Such considerations may hinder both countries in their efforts to sell into currently small but growing areas of the region. Before beginning this survey, readers should be aware that it focuses on air and shipboard systems due to the difficulties in establishing verifiable data concerning land-based equipment. This said, there is no doubt that ground-based EW (particularly those specialities relating to intelligence gathering) has a ready market in the region, and it is hoped at some future date that it will be possible to provide something more than vague statements citing sales to “undisclosed customers” in “Latin America.” IN THE AIR Working from north to south, the Clinton Administration supplied Mexico’s Fuerza Aérea Mexicana (FAM – Mexican Air Force) with a quartet of C-26A transport aircraft that have subsequently been equipped for counter-narcotics surveillance duties and are currently flying with a mission suite that is made-up of a Star SAFIRE Electro-Optical (EO) imager, either a DRS Technologies 20- to 3,000MHz band ZS-3035 or -3045 integrated COMINT and direction-finding (DF) system, a surveillance radar (possibly sourced from Telephonics) and a commu-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - April 2011

JED - April 2011
Table of Contents
The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Latin American EW
The US IR Decoy Industry: Planning for a Viable Future
AOC/Shephard EW 2011 Preview
Book Review
EW 101
AOC News
AOC Industry and Institute/University Members
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - April 2011