Brazil to Get Tech Transfer If It Buys US Jets

By Dialogo
April 26, 2012




Brazil will get U.S.-advanced technology transfer if it buys Boeing’s
F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet to upgrade its air force, visiting U.S. Defense
Secretary Leon Panetta said in Brasilia on April 25.





The F/A-18 Super Hornet is up against the Rafale fighter, made by French firm
Dassault Aviation, and Swedish manufacturer Saab’s Gripen for Brazil’s
contract for 36 multi-role combat aircraft valued at between $4 billion and $7
billion.





Brazil, Latin America’s dominant power and the world’s sixth
largest economy, is now insisting on technology transfer in all its defense
agreements.





In a clear sign of Washington’s desire to win the lucrative contract,
Panetta said: “This offer, which has the strong support of the U.S. Congress,
contains an unprecedented advanced technology sharing that is reserved for only our
closest allies and partners.”





“This offer is about much more than providing Brazil with the best
fighter available,” he added in an address to a military academy. “With
the Super Hornet, Brazil’s defense and aviation industries would be able to
transform their partnerships with U.S. companies, and they would have the best
opportunity to plug into worldwide markets.”





On its first visit to Brazil since he was appointed in June last year,
Panetta held talks with his Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim in Brasilia, on April
24.





The two inaugurated the new Defense Cooperation Dialogue agreed upon during
President Dilma Rousseff’s recent visit to Washington.





Amorim made clear after meeting Panetta that Brasilia’s main interest
was securing technology transfer from the new alliance proposed by
Washington.





Panetta also said Washington welcomed Brazil’s rise as a global
power.





“This is a relationship between two global powers, and we welcome
Brazil’s growing strength. We support Brazil as a global leader and seek
closer defense cooperation,” he noted.





“We won’t agree on every matter — no two countries, not
even the closest allies, ever do. But I do believe that our common interests are so
great, and the possibilities that come from our cooperation are so tangible, that we
must seize this opportunity to build a stronger defense partnership for the
future,” Panetta said here.





In addition to technology transfer, Brasilia also wants some of the jet
fighters to be assembled in this country, which according to analysts might favor
the Rafale.





Brasilia was also irked by the U.S. cancelation of a $380 million contract
with Embraer to buy 20 AT-29 Super Tucano aircraft from Embraer for the Afghan
army.





Embraer and its U.S. partner Sierra Nevada were awarded the contract in
December but the U.S. Air Force called off the deal in February after a legal
challenge from rival Hawker Beechcraft Corp.





The Pentagon has called for a new round of bidding for the contract, but in
any case, the equipment will not be delivered before 2014.





The Brazilian-U.S. dialogue is also meant to resolve other issues such as the
US decision in 2008 to reactivate its Fourth Fleet in the South Atlantic, a
strategic and resource-rich area where regional countries do not want any external
military presence.





Panetta on April 23 began his first Latin America tour in Colombia and was
scheduled to also visit Chile after Brazil in a bid to boost military cooperation
and regional security ties.
















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