Brazil's Air Force has just announced this Wednesday, October 1st, that it had chosen US Boeing Co., France's Dassault and Sweden Saab as finalists in a tender for the purchase of 36 fighter jets, part of a fleet renewal.
The air force wants a next-generation, multi-role fighter jet to replace its entire fleet over the next 15 years. That could eventually increase the size of the jet order to more than 100 aircraft.
Six manufacturers participated in the tender and only three passed to the next phase of the tender; excluded were Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Russian Sukhoi SU-35.
Brazil wants a generous technology transfer package, possibly including local assembly, to help develop its own defense industry and perform maintenance on the aircraft. The first fighter would have to be delivered in 2014.
However France seems better poised for the long struggle: Brazil is expected to sign in December a strategic defense alliance with Paris, including the construction of a nuclear-powered submarine in Brazil.
The transfer of sensitive military technology has proven to be one of the impediments for US manufacturers, but in this case according to Boeing there would be no major objections from the US government.
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