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Brazil and France in jets talks

September 8th, 2009

Lula-SarkozyBrazil has entered into negotiations with France to buy 36 fighter jets, the two countries have announced. In exchange for the $4bn tender, France would buy about a dozen military cargo planes, they said in a joint statement.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in Brazil to attend Independence Day celebrations, but a formal decision on the deal is not expected this week. France is competing with the United States and Sweden to supply Brazil’s air force with 36 new modern warplanes.

Ahead of Mr Sarkozy’s visit, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signalled that France’s Rafale jet, built by Dassault, was favourite.

The Rafale had an “exceptional comparative advantage” because of France’s guarantee to share all military technology with Brazil as part of the deal, he told the AFP news agency. Talks with France over the deal were at a “very advanced stage”, he told other media outlets.

If it goes ahead, this will be the first time France has sold the Rafale overseas. Brazilian officials are expected to announce the winner of the bid in October, AFP reports. Presidents Sarkozy and Lula were due on Monday to sign an already-agreed $10bn (£6bn; 7bn euros) deal for Brazil to buy five French submarines and 50 military transport helicopters.

In an interview with Brazil’s O Globo newspaper on Sunday, Mr Sarkozy said: “The relationship between Brazil and France is not one of supplier and client, but of partners.”We want to act together because we share the same values and a same vision on the big international goals.

BBC News

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