Israeli Drones to Patrol Brazilian Skies During World Cup

Drones join tanks, remote-controlled robots, thermal cameras and other security measures to be deployed by federal government.

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Aerial view of the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Hill and the Mario Filho stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Aerial view of the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Hill and the Mario Filho stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Credit: AFP

Brazil’s Air Force has purchased two new $12 million drones from Israel, to patrol the skies during the FIFA World Cup. The football extravaganza begins in just over three months.

Manufactured by Elbit Systems, the drones are expected to provide crowd surveillance above Brazil’s soccer stadiums during the competition.

“The intelligence-gathering electronic and optics technologies of Elbit and our Brazilian partners are perfectly suited for the homeland security challenges at these events,” said Elbit CEO Bezhalel Machlis.

The drones are among a raft of security measures being brought in, including thermal cameras, German tanks and stadium fly-overs by Air Force fighter jets and helicopters kitted out with surveillance equipment including, high-resolution, night-vision and thermal cameras.

Brazil has also ordered 30 PackBot 510 robots from the United States to beef up its security measures. Equipped with cameras, the PackBots can be remotely operated. Nearly 2,000 such robots are operational in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Brazilian federal government, which is worried about threats of terrorism and street protests, says it is spending a total of $1 billion on security measures for the June event.

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