Brazil names Gripen as finalist for air force tender

Saab’s next generation Gripen fighter is on the short-list of options under consideration by the Brazilian Air Force, the company said on Thursday.

“We are pleased to be included by the Brazilian Air Force in the ongoing selection process and are ready to submit at very attractive proposal”, said Saab Executive Vice President Lennart Sindahl in a statement.

The proposal was submitted in August is in response to a Brazilian tender request for 36 fighter jets, a request which could expand to 100 aircraft over the next 15 years, according to the Reuters news agency.

In putting forward the Gripen NG (Next Generation) multi-role fighter as a possible option, Saab also promised to provide additional support for spare parts, logistics and training.

The Gripen’s competitors for the deal include the F-18 Super Hornet by US-based Boeing and the French made Dassault’s Rafale.

According to Reuters, a final decision on the contract is likely in late 2009.