HAIFA, Israel, September 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ and TASE: ESLT) ("Elbit Systems") announced today, further to the announcement dated April 13, 2011, that its Brazilian subsidiary AEL Sistemas S.A. ("AEL") signed several related agreements with Embraer Defesa e Segurança S.A. ("Embraer Defesa"), a subsidiary of Embraer S.A. (NYSE: ERJ; BM&FBOVESPA: BR3) ("Embraer").
Under the agreements, the parties established a joint company, Harpia Sistemas S.A ("Harpia"), in which Embraer Defesa owns 51% and AEL owns the remaining 49%. The new company, based in Brasilia, will be engaged in the areas of unmanned aircraft systems, avionics systems and simulators, as well as contractor logistics support in these areas, for the Brazilian market as well as other markets to be determined in the future. Mr. Rodrigo Fantom will be appointed as the CEO of Harpia.In addition, pursuant to the agreements, Embraer Defesa acquired a 25% interest in AEL. Luiz Carlos Aguiar, President of Embraer Defesa, said: "The creation of Harpia is in perfect alignment with Brazil's national defense strategy and it will be an important instrument for meeting the needs of the armed and the security forces. Furthermore, the potential for dual application of unmanned aerial systems and the technology generated through it must also be highlighted." Joseph Ackerman, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, stated: "The establishment of this jointly-owned company is a significant step for Elbit Systems and AEL, marking another milestone in our long-term operations in Brazil, a market which we consider of the utmost importance. These transactions take the collaboration between Embraer Defesa and AEL to new heights, which we are confident, will be of mutual benefit to both of our companies as well as to the Brazilian customers." Shlomo Erez, President of AEL, commented: "We are very excited with Embraer Defesa's decision to invest in AEL and our establishment of the jointly owned company, which attests to the high level of satisfaction and mutual trust that our companies have nurtured throughout many years of collaboration." Elbit Systems and Embraer, with the support of AEL, have a successful track record of cooperative relationships. AEL was one of the first suppliers of systems for the turboprop Tucano basic trainer and the subsonic fighter AMX, aircraft manufactured by Embraer in the 1980s and 1990s. Currently, AEL provides the avionics for the turboprop light attack and advanced training Super Tucano, as well as the avionics of the F-5M fighter, modernized by Embraer for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).