Brazil To Delay Fighter-Plane Competition for Several Months

By Dialogo
February 25, 2011

Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim received French Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie, to whom he confirmed that there will be a delay of “some months” in the decision on a fighter-plane purchase for which the United States and Sweden are also competing, according to official sources.

According to Defense Ministry sources, this was one of the matters Alliot-Marie discussed today with Jobim, who explained to her that, due to the budget cuts announced by Dilma Rousseff’s administration in February, the operation has been put on hold “for a few months.”

The defense budget for this year was approximately 8.823 billion dollars, but with the cuts decided on by the administration, it will end up at approximately 6.470 billion dollars, resulting in a review of all military acquisitions, the sources said.

In the case of the fighter planes, the operation “has not been canceled,” but it has been put on hold “until the budget problems are overcome,” spokespeople at the Defense Ministry’s press office noted.

The competitors for the purchase of thirty-six fighter-bombers for the Brazilian Air Force are Rafale planes from the French firm Dassault, Super Hornet F/A-18s from the U.S. firm Boeing, and Gripen NGs from the Swedish firm Saab.