By Dialogo October 11, 2011 The Brazilian Armed Forces’ only attack helicopter model is conducting its first target practice at the Brigadier Velloso Proving Ground in Para. The first aircraft operated by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), the MI-35 Hind or AH-2 Sabre according to FAB nomenclature, represents a major step forward in terms of new combat resources. A 23-mm internal gun that can be individually aimed by the movements of the gunner’s or pilot’s head complements the wide variety of rockets, missiles, and other weapons used by the Sabre. A complex array of sensors, such as FLIR (forward looking infrared), laser telemetry, and terrain-following radar, in addition to an advanced suite of defensive countermeasures, give this helicopter the status of an armed “flying tank.” Its combat record includes actions in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Angola, Libya, and dozens of other military theaters. It has become so respected a weapon that examples captured by the Americans in Iraq are used for training in ‘anti-Hind’ tactics at U.S. Special Forces bases. Acquired as part of the plan implementing the National Defense Strategy, the 12 AH-2 Sabres ordered constitute one of the most effective weapons systems based in the Amazon region. The unit that operates the model, the Poti Squadron (2nd/8th GAV), was transferred to Porto Velho, the capital of the state of Rondonia, precisely in order to introduce the Sabre in this worrisome region along the country’s northern border. The Brigadier Velloso Proving Ground was chosen for the operational training test due to its excellent support infrastructure, which offers appropriate tactical scenarios for this purpose. The helicopter has been in Cachimbo since September 28, conducting its first live-fire air-to-surface target practice.