A subsidiary of U.S. military security contractor Blackwater Worldwide has purchased a fighter plane from the Brazilian aviation company Embraer, a Brazilian newspaper reported Sunday.
The 314-B1 Super Tucano propeller-driven fighter — the same used by the Brazilian military — was bought for $4.5 million and delivered to EP Aviation at the end of February, according to the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper.
The report included the plane's registration number with the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency, and the FAA website confirmed it is registered by EP Aviation.
It was not clear if it was Embraer's first sale of a military-style aircraft to a private company. EP Aviation has 33 planes and helicopters registered with the FAA, according to the agency's website, only one of which is from Embraer.
Officials with Brazil's government and Embraer declined to comment on the Estado report. Phone calls to Blackwater were not returned.
The plane sold to EP Aviation did not include the two .50-caliber machine guns normally attached to the wings.
This was to skirt some rule that would have made the purchase illegal. You can can bet your ass that the machine guns, or something worse, will be attached after the sale.
Blackwater, the largest private security company in the world, has been under scrutiny as a U.S. federal grand jury investigates its involvement in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians. Blackwater also is under investigation for possible weapons smuggling allegations — violations the company denies.
Specs for the fighter:
• 2x 12.7 mm FN Herstal M3P machine guns
• 1x 20 mm cannon pod below the fuselage
• 4x 70 mm rocket launcher pods
• Conventional and intelligent bombs
• 2x AIM-9 Sidewinder or MAA-1 Piranha or Python 3/4 air-to-air missiles
• External stores on 5 hardpoints
Yes, a prop fighter in an jet fighter age may seem cute, but a mercenary corporation with a history of murder buying their own fighter planes should have the FBI raiding their offices, and arresting their CEO TODAY!
It is interesting to note that BushCo killed a sale of this plane to Venezuela, but apparently thinks it is OK for a private corporation run by the religiously insane to start their own air force.
This company needs to be shut down, NOW!