Brazil mudslides delay Gripen fighter decision

Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim on Tuesday ruled out for now a decision on a multi-billion dollar fighter aircraft contract vied for by France, Sweden and the United States.

Brazil mudslides delay Gripen fighter decision

Jobim said he hopes the competition will be resolved this year but at the moment the government is too tied up dealing with the aftermath of floods and mudslides that left 830 people dead and 25,000 homeless near Rio.

“This is not the moment to decide,” he said.

“We are in an emergency situation, with rains and disasters,” the state-run Agencia Brasil quoted him as saying.

The contract for 36 fighters has an initial value estimated at $4 billion to $10 billion, with the possibility of many more aircraft in the future.

But the competition has dragged on for years, with President Dilma Rousseff inheriting it from her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Jobim indicated that despite the latest setback, the bidding would not go back to square one, and said Russia’s Sukhoi fighters would not be allowed back into the running.

“There is nothing like that,” he said.

“The Russians were already disqualified at the start of the process.”

He said the only fighters under consideration were the French-made Rafale, the Swedish Gripen NG and the US F-18 Super Hornet.

A decision on the bid will be followed by at least 12 months of complex negotiations on technical matters and the terms of the deal, Jobim said.

Brazil wants the deal to include not just the aircraft but also technology transfers. Lula had said he favored the Rafale, but in the end he opted to leave the decision to his successor.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.