AF-1B The Modernized Brazilian Skyhawk

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In 2008, the Brazilian Navy began an ambitious project to modernize its fleet (Naval and Air), one of these programs being the modernization of the São Paulo aircraft carrier (ex Foch) together with the A-4KU Skyhawk aircraft. In 2009, a contract with the iconic EMBRAER was signed to begin the modernization with new navigation, weapons, power generation, communications, and sensor systems, including a multi-mode radar and a new operating system. The result of all the work was presented with the first aircraft, delivered to the navy in 2015.


1st Fuselage


General structure review including structural improvements.

2nd Engine


General overhaul of engines, keeping the original.

3rd New Avionics


The old analog instruments have been replaced by the new HUD, which will allow pilots to keep their attention outside the cockpit with two 5"x7" tactical displays, Color Multi-Function Display (CMFD).

download (1)

4th Countermeasures


Installation of the new Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), flares and chaffs capacity has not changed (x60).

5th New Radar


New radar with numerous capabilities, Elta 2032 It is an advanced multi-mode airborne fire control radar (FCR) designed for multi-mission fighters, oriented towards air-to-air, air-to-sea and attack missions. The radar is made up of three main modules (transmitter, receiver processor and antenna). Maximum air-to-air and air-to-ground range 148km or 80NM.

6th Other Changes


New on board oxygen generation system, new power generation system, new radios to automatically carry out encrypted communication, inertial system (EGI), HOTAS (Hand On Throttle and Stick), revitalization of the autopilot, integration of the radar altimeter and TACAN, integration of engine instruments, enables for the pilot to receive engine warnings easily.

7th Armament


Addition of a ballistic computer to integrate new and old weapons.

Air-to-Air Missiles: 4x AIM9H, 4x MAA-1A, 4x MAA-1B.

Rockets: AVIBRAS 127 mm HVAR.

Bombs: Mk81, 82 and 83 and their locally produced equivalents BFG 230, 460 and 920.

Guided Bombs: SMKB-82/83 guided by GPS.



Crew: 1

Length: 12.75 m

Wingspan: 8.44 m

Height: 4.74 m

Wing area: 24.15 m²

Empty weight: 4,800 kg

Gross weight: 8,318 kg

Maximum take-off weight: 11,136 kg

Engine: 1 x Pratt & Whitney J52-P-408 with (49.81 kN) (11,200 Ibs) of thrust

Maximum speed: 1,107 km/h

Ferry range: 4,668 km

Service ceiling: 13,500 m

Rate of climb: 42 m/s

G Limits: +8 / -4

Internal Armament: 2× 20 mm Colt Mk 12 cannon ( Ammo: 200)
5 external hardpoints for maximum load up to 4.154 kg.



photo with the pre-modernization model to demonstrate weaponry




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nice job villares