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On 2 June, President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree establishing the Brazilian Army’s right to operate fixed-wing aircraft then, three days later, issued another removing the right and reverting to a 1986 decree that allows the service to operate only helicopters. The later decision was taken after pressure from the air force, MON understands and reflects a similar 1998 discussion with the navy, which the latter service eventually won.

This decision was taken after the Army’s procurement of eight C-23B SHERPA transport aircraft the US Army last December. The aircraft, two of which were to be used for spares, were expected to equip the first Army fixed-wing unit of the force, the 4th Army Aviation Battalion, based at Manaus, to support Army bases in the Amazon basin and close to national borders. Despite their expected arrival next year after being overhauled and modernized, their future is now uncertain, as the force will not be able to operate them.

Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy in Buenos Aires for MON

A US Army C-23A1 SHERPA. (Photo via authors)

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