Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva once again stated that a final decision on the purchase of 36 fighter jets for the Brazilian Air Force has still not been made. He went on to say that the proposals by the three finalists remain under examination by the Ministry of Defense.
“One thing we insist on is a commitment to unrestricted transfer of all cutting edge technology,” said the president in an interview.
Lula said that a decision on the matter would have to be analyzed by the National Defense Council under the terms of the guidelines for National Defense Strategy.
The president also said the choice of the French Rafale, the Swedish Gripen or the American F-18 has to take into consideration the need to establish a national defense policy as a means to development and technological independence.
Meanwhile the new American ambassador in Brazil, Thomas Shannon, asked Lula to take into consideration the quality of the American fighter jets as he decides which one to buy.
Shannon said he believes a decision has not been made, although there are suspicions that Brasília favors the French aircraft.
He added that there was no problem with selecting the other jets, all of them built by “friends and allies of the United States.”