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Military salute for Saab in Brazil fighter jet deal

AFP/The Local · 6 Jan 2010, 16:19

Published: 06 Jan 2010 10:31 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Jan 2010 16:19 GMT+01:00

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As reported by Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo on Tuesday, the Force’s first choice in a deal for 36 high-tech fighter jets is the NG Gripen, manufactured by Saab.

In its decision, the military has gone against the Brazilian government's pick - the French Rafale.

Citing an air force technical report, the newspaper said the French jet was not even the Air Force's second pick for the new fighters.

The runner-up was the F/A-18 Super Hornet by US group Boeing.

The Rafale, a multirole fighter made by Dassault, had been seen as leading the pack since President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced jointly in September that Brazil was negotiating to buy the delta-winged aircraft.

If that intent to purchase is confirmed, it would be the first export sale of the Rafale, possibly making it more attractive to other potential buyers Switzerland and India.

But Saab and Boeing are fighting fiercely to land the Brazilian contract, reportedly slashing prices to do so.

Lula's government has said the deal is not yet done with Dassault. It is waiting for an air force evaluation of the three contenders to be completed.

Still, Lula has stressed that the final decision is his, and will be based on political and strategic considerations.

The priority for Brazil is to acquire technology through the purchase so it can end up with the capability to build its own 21st-century fighters.

Story continues below…

Folha said the air force preferred the Swedish model because it was less costly and potentially had better commercial possibilities.

And profit margins on future local production of the French jet were theoretically less interesting to local aviation giant Embraer, the Folha report added.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:32 January 6, 2010 by Nemesis
This is good news.

I hope SAAB gets the deal. It will help to secure jobs and generate income in Sweden.
15:18 January 6, 2010 by saabdude
"As the fate of troubled Saab Automobile hangs in the balance, the military and defence division of the Swedish company"

Ah...I hate to break it to the Editor...but SAAB Automobile AB was SPLIT from SAAB AB in 1990, when General Motors purchased the first 50%, then purchased the remaining 50% in 2000.

SAAB AB has NOTHING to do with SAAB Automobile AB.

And you live in Sweden? What rock have you been living under for the last 20 years?
00:21 January 7, 2010 by Jon in KC
I hate to be the person to see the bad part in this story, but here goes.

"The priority for Brazil is to acquire technology through the purchase so it can end up with the capability to build its own 21st-century fighter"

I read this to mean that Brazil will just copy the Saab fighter and then produce its own. I worked for GE and China did the same, they ordered a fleet of new GPS guided locomotives, took delivery of the first 2 and then just reversed engineered them. Originally they had told GE they were going to buy 20, so GE started to build 20 but only sold 2.

Hopefully for Saab Brazil will take the full order of planes and not just 1 or 2 and then start building Saab knockoffs.

And while the military and automobile portions of Saab are two separate entities, they are both Swedish and so this means jobs for Sweden. Either way that is good.

In the end, this deal is only a short term boost as it appears that Brazil wants to build its own fighter. If that is the case it will be based on whatever plane they buy.
10:55 January 7, 2010 by Srenner
I'm Brazilian, living in Halmstad,

In my view the Saab fighter is better than Rafale and US F/A 18. But as I know the politic system in Brazil, they are only speculating the market. Decisions will be taken maybe next year, cause this year we'll have elections in Brazil. It means: all can be change.

I hope they choose the Saab aircraft and break the influence of France/US at the military forces.

For Brazil is a big deal to have license to produce this fighters at Embraer, and maybe Embraer can exchange technology with the swedish aircraft factory.
19:20 January 7, 2010 by Henckel
I'm glad to see business coming to Saab, and I would also say that I'd rather see Saab planes license-built in Brazil than see Brazil buy its aircraft from China or Russia.
01:28 January 8, 2010 by CanadianInSweden
ok from what iv read and seen about this deal,brazil is just going to end up buying a couple at most,steal the technology and duplicate it then sell it to other countrys as brazils own product?? am i understanding this correctly???? why is sweden allowing this???im assuming the government has to ok this since its a military aircraft..it is no ones interest but the brazilians..why are they allowing it???
04:34 January 8, 2010 by wenddiver
OK same plane, built in Sweden and Brazil, Guess which one will have the lower priced Labor and production????

One of the two will run the other out of this market.
01:23 January 10, 2010 by americanska
All the navigation in the SAAB is made by US companies. Which is why it's so good.

The french plane is not even favored by the French Air Force.

The F18 is older and not Next Gen, which says something about how dang good that plane is considering it's 2nd choice - Brazil can't afford the F-35. If they could they'd buy it.
00:08 January 11, 2010 by Bender B Rodriquez

I don't know what part of the navigation system you are talking about.

The radar is currently made by Marconi, and will in the future be made by Selex Gallileio. The communication system is made by Thales. Neither is American.

The biggest American part is the engine which is made by GE.
04:27 January 11, 2010 by onemorehere
Well, I am following carefully this bid because I am interested in these subjects.

Brazil can not buy F35: not because they can not afford it, but because US does not offer it. US sells F35 only for very close allies.

Brazilian government has made clear that one of the most important criteria in this bid is the full technology transfer of the fighters. So, if Brazil will build its own fighter in a couple of years, this will have nothing to do with stealing or copying, but only using what they bought (i.e., technology). Remember as well that the 3rd biggest aircraft manufacturer in the world is brazlian (Embraer). This company already produces fighters nowadays (and produced even more in the past).

Brazil had problems in the past with technology transfer from the US. They dont want to make the same error. That is why the F/A 18 is low weighted in this bid, even though US is offering them for the half of the market price.

Because the SAAB fighter uses american engine (i.e., a potential problem for technology transfer), it is not well seen at the brazlian government. An additional comment here: SAAB has offered not only full technology transfer for this bid, but a **joint development** of a new version of the NG Gripen that Brazil would have the **right to market**.

About the french option. Brazil has recently announced the acquisiton of helicopters and submarines from France (in a bid 3x larger than this one for the fighters) with the very same issue of full technology transfer. And as the text of the article said, these countries are establishing an strategic alliance that goes beyond the military plane, but reaches several other areas.
20:01 January 12, 2010 by lingonberrie
Several expert comments proffered here make the idea of stating an opinion a bit brazen when that stated opinion does not have the benefit of similar expertise.

Judging from the data submitted, the AC are a mismash of several countries parts, systems and engines.

Judging from this, how can a Gripen be referred to as Swedish?

Politics and cost play more of a role than quality or nationalistic pride, thus the name on the AC becomes a moot point.
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