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CRUZEX 2013 - International military exercises in Brazil


Between day 5 until day14 of November came another edition of CRUZEX ( Exercise Southern Cross ) in Brazil . This was a multinational air exercise organized by the Brazilian Air Force and aimed to train in advanced missions conducted in the environment of modern warfare . The cooperation and good relationship between the Air Force participants increased after participation in a training at this level . The main base of operations was the Natal Air Force Base , where they were based fighters and helicopters . In Recife Air Force Base were based refueling and electronics surveillance aircraft. Both Air Force Bases are in the northeast of Brazil , across the Atlantic Ocean .
During the event the various Air Forces were able to simulate various combat situations in a real war scenario . They conducted a great learning with friendly forces and also everyone could exercise their techniques . In this edition the following countries participated and their aircraft :

Brazil :
17 fighters Northrop F - 5M
05 Fighters Dassault Mirage F -2000
07 AMX attack aircraft A- 1
03 reconnaissance aircraft AMX RA- 1
05 light attack aircraft Embraer A- 29
02 surveillance aircraft electronic E- 99
02 tanker KC - 130 Hercules
02 transport C - 130 Hercules
02 transport EADS C -105 Amazonas
01 SAR EADS C -105 Amazonas
04 Helicopters Sikorsky H - 60L Blackhawk
03 Helicopters MIL MI 24 AH - 2 Sabre
01 Helicopter Bell H - 1H
01 helicopter H -34 Eurocopter Super Puma

06 Fighters General Dynamics F - 16 Fighting Falcon
01 Tanker Boeing KC -135 Stratotanker .

03 Cessna A- 37 Dragonfly.
03 aircraft FMA IA -58 Pucara .

Colombia :
01 Tanker Boeing 767-200 Jupiter
04 aircraft Cessna A- 37 Dragonfly

Venezuela :
05 Fighters General Dynamics F - 16 Fighting Falcon

02 transport C - 130J Hercules

Ecuador :
03 light attack aircraft Embraer A- 29

Chile :
06 Fighters General Dynamics F - 16 Fighting Falcon
01 Tanker Boeing KC -135 Stratotanker

Reporters and photographers accredited by the Brazilian Air Force were very well received, having access to several spotting points, always accompanied by bilingual military staff and record all activities on the ground. On day 05 the press actively participated in media day, when 84 journalists were able to interview the commanders of the forces involved. Thanks to Brazilian Air Force!

The big news in this issue was the "shot validation" in real time , allowing greater realism in the fighting , with the immediate withdrawal of the plane " shot down " .
The Brazilian Air Force revield the first unit of the modernized model A- 1M AMX now able to operate with a brand new multimode radar and new integrated weapons systems , which increases in twenty years his operations . Cruzex also debuted the Russian helicopters Mil- MI , in Brazil called Sabre .

For ten days the skies of northeastern Brazil were scratched by contrails and the noise of the fast and furious jets in their fierce fighting. The airport of Natal city saw a jam in your taxiway when taking off F-16, Mirage F-2000, F-5M, A-1 AMX, Pucarás, A-37 and A-29, mingled with Boeing 737, Airbus A-320 and ATR-72. Sweet noise for aviation enthusiasts and an unforgettable sight for spotters!

F-5 pilot  -  Brazil

Pucará  -  Uruguai

F-16  -  Venezuela

F-5M  -  Brazil

F-16  -  Chile

F-16  -  USA

AMX A-1M  -  Brazil

A-H2 Sabre  -  Brazil

Mirage F-2000  -  Brazil

A-29  -  Ecuador

KC-135  -  USA

F-16  -  Chile

E-99  -  Brazil

F-16  -  USA

H-60 Blackhawk  -  Brazil

Uploaded with

A-H2 Sabre (Brazil)  and   F-16 (Chile)

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KC-767 Júpiter  -  Colômbia

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Thanks for posting. It's been some years since I last looked at CRUZEX, but I noted the USAF F-16s taking part in the news, which surprised me for this year in light of their forced cost savings. It's great to see that the exercise is still going strong and not getting less international, although it seems France was missing for this edition. So it's still getting participation from Venezuela and its F-16s, pretty amazing. I do fear that it will become less interesting for spotters over time when the legacy CAS/COIN aircraft from the region are probably all going to be replaced by A-29, which is flown by Brazil itself. But for now, CRUZEX is a great mix to see.

One note regarding your a/c list, the Hinds are Mi-35M, so at the very least I would have referred to them as Mi-35, the export designation of the Mi-24V. Because when I see Mi-24, although I won't assume the first-gen Hind then, I'm automatically thinking of second-hand Hinds, delivered from a CIS country, with outdated (even non-functional or removed) systems, and shoddy maintenance/availability records.
While these are more modern brand new Hinds. An interesting change from the old Hind, beyond the improved systems and engines, is the fact that the gear is now non-retractable, saving weight and the need to maintain the mechanism.

The choice for Hinds by Brazil, even though it makes sense in light of the Amazon/requirements, is interesting and sometimes I still can't believe they bought them. But it's not like I see an alternative. I wonder if the FAB is really pleased with them and they've lived up to the type's reputation, or perhaps it's somewhat of a mistake due to language or supply chain issues.

You are right. Regarding Hind helicopters are new. The purchase of these aircraft was a political decision and being a huge learning for FAB exactly on the share of TO and supply.
In a few years certainly will not see more A-37 and Pucarás but dozens of A-29 in different colors.

Ecuador has a very nice c/s for their A-29s, at least these two, or is their entire fleet (18 or 24?) painted in the pixel scheme?

Very nice frontal shot of the E-99 by the way!


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