BRASILIA, Brazil, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The Brazilian Air Force Command and a subsidiary of South Africa's Denel Group have signed a missile production contract.
Under the $667,000 award, Denel do Brasil will prepare for production of the jointly developed A-Darter air-to-air missile, which has completed the testing phase, at a facility in Sao Paolo state.
The air force will use the missile on its upgraded A-1 fighters and the future F-X2 fighter from 2015.
The heat-seeking A-Darter missile, which will be able to maneuver up to 10 times faster than a fighter jet, weighs 198.4 pounds and has the capability to engage aircraft form the side and rear of the aircraft.
The Brazilian air force said other local companies are involved in the missile's production for Brazil as well as for export. Among them: Mectron, Avibras and Opto Electronics, which have benefited from technology transfers in areas such as optics, navigation, sensors and image processing.
"Seeing the start of production in Brazil of a fifth-generation missile is certain proof that we are providing our pilots the very latest equipment," said Brig. Gen. Carlos Baptista de Almeida Jr., chairman of the coordinator combat aircraft program's coordinating committee.