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With United States cooperation, in 1997 Brazil negotiated a $70 million contract for purchase of twenty A-4KU and three TA-4KU Skyhawks from Kuwait. The Kuwaiti Skyhawks, modified A-4Ms and TA-4Js delivered in 1977, were among the last of those models built by Douglas.

The Kuwaiti Skyhawks were selected by Brazil because of low flight time, excellent physical condition, and a favorable price tag. Re-designated AF-1 and AF-1A Falcõnes (Hawks), the ex-Kuwaiti Skyhawks arrived in Brazil in early September 1998 and were placed in overhaul maintenance status for significant upgrading. The upgrading program is continuing and AF-1 and AF-1A Falcõnes are currently operational in Brazil.

Initial training of Brazilian Skyhawk pilots was conducted in both Argentina and the United States, the latter by Training Squadron Seven (VT-7) at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi.

On 18 January 2001, an AF-1 trapped aboard the Brazilian aircraft carrier Minas Gerais (A- 11) and later was successfully catapulted, making Brazil's fixed-wing carrier force operational.

To replace the aging Minas Gerais, Brazil purchased the surplus French aircraft carrier Fochon 15 November 2001. Renamed Saõ Paulo (A12), the "new" carrier received extensive refitting before becoming operational in 2003. Minas Gerais was decommissioned and retired that year.

APR 2009: Brazil is working to keep their Skyhawks current!

APR 2014: A modernization contract with Embraer running through 2015 was signed in 2009 to upgrade a mix of 12 AF-1/1A aircraft. They are currently flying a mix of upgraded and older KU’s as a select dozen are rotated through the program. By 2015 we expect these upgraded KU’s to be the only ones active. Estimate: 9 and 3 AF-1/1A

On Oct 9, 2013, at 20:20, "Carlos Lima" wrote:

My name is Carlos Lima and I am an editor of the Brazilian Web Site, Defesa Aero Naval.

Some links to the latest:

Special report about the 97 Years of Brazilian Naval Aviation - The VF1 Squadron (it has a summary of the items upgraded in the Brazilian A-4s)

First pictures of the Upgraded A-4 for the Brazilian Navy during its roll out.

First Flight of the Upgraded A-4 for the Brazilian Navy.

VF-1 Celebrates 15 years with commemorative livery - The "Hawk" is due to the code name the A-4 has in the Brazilian Navy "Falcões" (Hawks).

Exclusive Video - 15 years of the VF-1 Squadron in Brazil.

2013/09/29/ Pintura Commemortive.

Brazil Navy VF-1 Hawks

Kuwait/Brazil A-4KU/AF-1 BuNos
160180, 160181, 160183, 160186, 160188, 160189 160190,
160192, 160193, 160195, 160196, 160197, 160198, 160199,
160201, 160202, 160203, 160204, 160205, 160206

Kuwait/Brazil TA-4KU/AF-1A BuNos
160212, 160213, 160215

page | by Dr. Radut