Brazil To Delay Decision On New Air Force Jets

Por Dialogo
diciembre 08, 2010

Brazil’s government has postponed a decision on a key jet fighter contract worth more than $4 billion until President-elect Dilma Rousseff takes office next year.

Brazil is in the final stages of picking a company to manufacture at least 36 jets, which are to be assembled locally.

The deal is hotly disputed — international defense contractors are hoping to capitalize from Brazil’s growing defense spending — and could eventually rise to include more than 100 aircraft.

The finalists are the Gripen NG made by Sweden’s Saab, the F-18 made by U.S.-based Boeing Co and the Rafale made by Dassault.

The administration of current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has repeatedly expressed its political preference for the Rafale jet, in part because it sees the French as offering the most generous transfer of technology.

Yet Lula said during an interview with TV Brasil late on Monday that he would leave the decision up to his successor, Rousseff, who will take office on Jan. 1.