Brazil has taken delivery of the first three of 42 Northrop F - 5 Tiger supersonic fighter-bombers from the United States in an 84-million-dollar (GBP35 million sterling) contract completed last year.
GV F-5 jets on tarmac surrounded by military
GV & SV newsmen inspecting aircraft (2 shots)
GV three jets taxiing along runway
SV camera unit
LV jet about to take off as crowd looks on (2 shots)
GV jets airborne
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Background: Brazil has taken delivery of the first three of 42 Northrop F - 5 Tiger supersonic fighter-bombers from the United States in an 84-million-dollar (GBP35 million sterling) contract completed last year.
The F-5-which surpasses 1,180 miles (1,900 kilometres) an hour and is armed with cannon, missiles and a ton and a half of bombs -- is destined to become the mainstay of Brazil's rebuilt air force. Two F-5 squadrons will be based near Rio de Janeiro and another near Porto Alegre in the south.
The Brazilian Government also is negotiating a deal with the plane's U.S. manufacturer, Northrop, to establish a subsidiary in Brazil by 1980 to produce F-5s and complementary equipment.
Brazil -- which already has the largest military budget in Latin America -- has said the extensive modernisation of its air force, which also has acquired 16 March-2 Mirage 111 jet fighters from France, is aimed at solidifying its position as an important emerging military power.
The first three F-5s arrived at Rio de Janeiro's Galeao Air Force Base on Wednesday (12 March). They were two-seat trainer versions of the plane flown from the United States by Brazilian pilots who in turn will use them to train other Brazilian personnel. Of the 42 F-5s ordered, six will be trainers and the others combat models.
The F-5 is now used by more than 20 countries, having proved its high effectiveness in Vietnam as a light, tough, highly manoeuvrable short-range fighter-bomber.