Russia’s Sale of Air Defense System to Brazil Complicates Any US Fighter Deal

Boeing's Hornet fighter bomber According to a report on the Sunday edition of daily Correio Braziliense, the possible purchase of Russian anti-aircraft batteries for the Brazilian Army could influence Brazilian negotiations for the acquisition of US manufactured fighter planes.

A Russian delegation met last month with the high command of the Brazilian army to advance negotiations for the purchase of a ground-air defense system Tor.M23, similar to that sold by Moscow to the Iranian regime.

The system was specially developed by the Russians to counter the possible attacks of the US F-18 Super Hornet fighter bombers, manufactured by Boeing. Sources consulted by Correio Braziliense consider improbable that if Brazil purchases the Russian ground-air defense system, United States would accept to sell attack aircrafts with all its technological secrets included.

Brazil has established as procurement criteria that it will only purchase weapons from those countries willing to include technological information in their sale packages, so that the equipment can then be manufactured in the country.

Meanwhile Brazil is assessing possible military aircraft purchases from US Boeing; French Dassault and Sweden's Saab. Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has already publicly expressed preference for the French Rafale, but the final decision will be taken following a technical report from the Brazilian Air Force.

A few months ago French president Nicholas Sarkozy and Lula signed an agreement that included transfer of French technology in case Brazil finally decides to purchase the Dassault aircraft. This is considered one of the main advantages the French hold over their competitors.

Meantime in Caracas Russia and Venezuela are preparing to sign the sale of 53 M1 helicopters which have a double purpose: for civilian use and for the Armed Forces said Russian ambassador Vladimir Zaemskiy.

"The M1 are used by a hundred countries for transport of military hardware, food, medicine and personnel in military and humanitarian missions," said Zaemskiy. He added Venezuela is developing "a new concept of defense which requires a different technology, which Russia can provide"

Russia extended this year a 2 billion US dollars credit to Venezuela for the purchase of 92 tanks T 72 and an unspecified number of ground-air defense systems.



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