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01:28 PM, August 7, 2015
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Brazilian Senate Approves Gripen Financing Contract
Gripen Multi Role Fighter. Photo Credit: Saab

Brazil's Senate has approved a $4.6 billion financing contract that took place last week with Sweden for buying 36 Gripen fighter jets for the country’s Air Force.

The 36 Gripen NG fighters that country is purchasing from Saab includes 28 single-seat and eight two-seat jets, as well as related systems and equipment, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The Senate completed through a request from President Dilma Rousseff's government authorizing it to borrow up to US$4.5 billion from Sweden's export credit agency SEK and take out an additional loan in dollars for $245.3 million.

In the midst of a fiscal crunch, Brazil managed to negotiate better terms, reducing the interest rate for the SEK financing to 2.19 per cent from 2.54 per cent agreed last year.

The first Gripen NG fighter jets should be delivered to Brazil in 2019. Saab plans to set up a Brazilian assembly line producing the fighter jets through 2024 in partnership with Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA.

The contract provides for full transfer of technology and the production of 15 of the jets in Brazil.

Brazil awarded the contract in December 2013, choosing Saab's fighter over Boeing Co.'s F-18 Super Hornet and the Rafale made by France's Dassault Aviation SA.

Brazil signed an additional $245 million deal with Saab in April to supply arms for the Gripens.

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