Brazilian media has carried reports about a Pakistan Air Force transport
aircraft being loaded with missiles and bombs last month at Sao Jose
dos Campos airport near Sao Paulo.
If these reports are true, the move will be received by surprise as just
last year, Brazil had cancelled a contract to sell anti-radiation
missiles – meant to destroy radars – to Pakistan. It was widely believed
that the deal was cancelled keeping in mind the Indian concerns.
There is no official confirmation so far on the nature of cargo loaded
on the C-130 transport aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force. One report
claimed that it was short range air to air missile 1-A Piranha, whose
improved version MAA-1B is still under development. Other claim has been
that the cargo was unguided bombs based on the US MK Series.
But the ammunition mentioned in the reports is old. Piranha missiles
were used in now retired Mirage III fighter jets of the Brazilian Air
Force. PAF still flies a variant of Mirage III.
According to the report, the missiles were loaded in two C-130 aircraft
of PAF and the exact value of the deal in terms of money was still not
As the veracity of these reports remains to be verified, some experts
felt that the timing of such a move by Brazil was surprising as the
Latin American country was keen to engage India in expanding defence
Just three months ago, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in Brazil where
it was decided to enhance defence ties. The two sides had agreed to
place defence attaches in each others country. Brazil has a strong
aviation sector and there have been talks to explore joint ventures.
By not selling anti-radiation missiles to Pakistan, Brazil had sent a
strong message to India and opened the way for striking new deals.
India and Brazil have common interests in the military sector as both have big armed forces.