The event at the Florianópolis Air Base received ministers, businessmen, academics and representatives of the Armed Forces

By Lieutenant-Captain (T) Fabrício Sérgio Costa – Florianópolis-SC

In two days, Florianópolis went from being the Magic Island to become the Island of technology and defense products. The capital of Santa Catarina became the center of debates about the strengthening and future of the Defense Industrial Base (BID). SC Expo Defense 2022 brought together state ministers, businessmen, academics and representatives of the Brazilian Armed Forces to think about a common good: the technological development of Brazil in the military area.

On the first day of the event (May 19th), the President of the Federation of Industries of Santa Catarina (FIESC), Mario Cesar de Aguiar, highlighted that the partnership between companies from Santa Catarina and the Brazilian Armed Forces has intensified in recent years. In fact, one of FIESC’s strategies is to make the Defense Industrial Base (BID) more robust.

“We have to demystify that the imported product is better than the national one. Brazil already has cutting-edge technology companies and can, yes, be a great supplier not only for the Brazilian Armed Forces, but also for other countries,” he recalled. One of the purposes of SC Expo Defense 2022 was to boost the development of Santa Catarina’s industries for the production of defense products, since this market has enormous potential for job generation, increase in per capita income, and may provide a technological drag on the region.

“We are very pleased with the results of Expo Defense. We hope that in 2024 it will be even bigger because we believe in the very strong growth of the harmonious relationship between the Armed Forces and the Santa Catarina industry,” said Mário Cesar de Aguiar. In his speech at the opening of the fair, the Minister of Defense, Paulo Sérgio de Oliveira, observed that there has been a growth in the debate about defense issues in Brazil and in the world.

He remembered that the last war with the participation of the Brazilian Armed Forces happened more than 70 years ago, but the country cannot give up on having the Navy, Army and Air Force trained and in a permanent state of readiness. “The country needs to have deterrence capabilities compatible with its political, economic, and social stature. This is to be able to preserve its sovereignty, defend its territory, protect its interests, and ensure the development, peace, and freedom of its people,” he guaranteed. In addition, the Minister defended the need to increase the participation of the defense budget in the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“We understand that it is more than urgent to discuss with society the goal of Brazil reaching 2% of the GDP that is destined to defense, today about 1.3%. This we will do in the beginning of June, me and the Force Commanders. We will be present in both legislative houses to talk about our defense budget. For him, this will heat up the economy, with the generation of more jobs and improvement in the income of Brazilians.

“Bolder goals can be achieved by our defense industry, contributing incisively to the economic and social development of Brazil. This Defense Industrial Base has been a support within the planning of the Ministry of Defense so that we can create jobs and income. With these partnerships, we can enable new technologies. Today, for example, about 20% of what is acquired by the Armed Forces comes from Santa Catarina,” he reinforced.

Lectures at SC Expo Defense 2022

On Thursday (05/19), Rear Admiral Paulo Cesar Demby Corrêa represented the Brazilian Navy (MB) in the lecture cycle of the three Armed Forces. He updated the audience on the technological development of the MB, while Brigadier General Everton Pacheco highlighted the main equipment acquired by the Brazilian Army (EB) in recent years. Aviator Colonel José Renato de Araújo spoke about the strategic projects of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).

In his presentation about the evolution of science and technology in the Naval Force, Admiral Demby recalled the achievements of Admiral Álvaro Alberto, founder of the National Research Council (CNPq) and president of the Brazilian Chemical Society (SBQ). He also revealed what the vision for the future of the Navy Science and Technology System (SCTMB) is. “We need to take care of a Navy that is being designed today. The Navy of tomorrow and the future. We may not have the best, but we must have something of our own. We must have highly trained human resources, infrastructure compatible with the size of Brazil, and a focus on reducing foreign dependence.

We are talking about a management focused on efficacy, efficiency and effectiveness,” said the Institutional Relations and Social Communication Advisor of the Navy’s Directorate-General of Nuclear and Technological Development (DGDNTM). The Army Material Director, General Pacheco da Silva, affirmed that the EB Logistics Command (Colog) has an annual budget of R$ 2 billion, and that this amount is destined to the acquisition of materials for the maintenance of the Force. This includes food, uniforms, fuel, weapons and ammunition, vehicles, and veterinary materials, among other expenses.

Most of these purchases are made in Brasilia. However, some products can be purchased by the Military Regions or in the operational units, depending on the nature of each input. In addition, the Chief of the Section of Science, Technology and Innovation and Compensation Agreements of the Air Force, Air Force Aviator Colonel Araújo Costa, explained what the main strategic projects of the FAB are.

They were divided into three categories: FAB assets, aerospace infrastructure and aerospace technology. One of the strategic objectives of the projects is to ensure the sovereignty of the airspace and improve Brazil’s geopolitical positioning. On the other hand, on Friday (05/20), business rounds were held, in which the entrepreneurs could clarify doubts about the norms and models of defense acquisitions. The purpose was to enable industrialists to start or even expand their sales to the Brazilian Navy, the Brazilian Army, and the Brazilian Air Force.

SC Expo Defense 2022

The fair was organized by the Defense Industry Committee (Comdefesa) and by the Federation of Industries of Santa Catarina (FIESC). The event brought together professionals from the Defense area, civil and military authorities, government representatives and academics, with the objective of showing the latest in Defense products and technology, promoting the integration of the Armed Forces with the industry and technology centers. Between May 19th and 20th, SC Expo Defense 2022 attracted more than 2,000 people to the Florianópolis Air Base. In all, 18 symposiums and lectures took place. The visitors could see 77 stands and military means exhibited inside and outside the fair, such as a prototype of the FAB’s Gripen fighter, a Navy UH-15 helicopter and several armored vehicles from the Army.

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