Brazil demands pre-purchase "definitive" technical report on fighter jets

13:42, March 25, 2010      

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Wednesday he hopes to get a "definitive" report of the technical capabilities of three models of fighter jets before finalizing the planned purchase.

Lula made the remarks during his talks with visiting Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, who is now in Brazil to promote his country's fighter jet Saab Gripen.

Brazil plans to buy 36 new fighter jets in a bid to update the country's air force fleet. It is choosing from among three models of fighter jets -- the Rafale made by the French company Dassault, the F/A-18 Super Hornet from the U.S. company Boeing and the Swedish Saab Gripen.

During their talks, the Swedish king insisted on the advantages of the Swedish Saab Gripen.

At a press conference after the talks, Lula said he still wants to get some technical advice before making a final decision.

The president reaffirmed that the company that guarantees unrestricted transfer of technology to the South American country will emerge as the winner.

"Everybody knows what we want. We want to have technology, we want to manufacture the plane in Brazil and we want, moreover, Brazil to become an exporter of these aircraft in the near future," he said.

According to local media reports, the final decision, originally scheduled for the end of last year and postponed until further notice, could be made in the coming weeks.

For the moment, the French Rafale is considered the hot favorite, since French President Nicolas Sarkozy had assured the Brazilians that there would be no restrictions on technology transfer.

In addition, Brazil and France announced their strategic alliance in aeronautics in September last year. They said both countries "have important and complementary advantages" which may result in the development and construction of equipment to be sold to third countries.

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