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Brazil Government Says No Decision Yet On Military Jet Order

February 5th, 2010

Saab's Gripen NG

Spokesmen for Brazil’s Presidential Palace and the Ministery of Defense said Thursday that they had not yet made any decision on a 36 fighter jet order that puts Boeing Co. (BA) up against Saab AB (SAAB-B.SK) and Dassault Aviation (AM.FR).

Defense Minister Nelson Jobim is currently preparing a report for president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on the Ministry’s three choices, the Dassault Rafale F3 offer, Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet and Saab’s Gripen NG multirole fighter jet.

The press office of President Lula said it has not yet received the report, which is not expected until sometime next week. Once the report has been received, the president will then call a meeting with the country’s National Defense Council to decide on the procurement offer.

Local press reports had put Saab’s Gripen in the lead until recently, when the more expensive Rafale was seen taking top pick.

Dassault Aviation’s press manager in France said the company had not received any official word from Brazil, and that it offered to sell the Brazilian Air Force a total of 36 single-seater combat Rafale aircraft early last year. The company did not mention its price offer, listed by the local press to be $6.2 billion.

No timeline has been given for buying the fighter planes, the government said.

The Brazilian Air Force will use the new jets to replace some older French Mirage planes, the Air Force said.

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