After India Success, Is Dassault Rafale A Favorite In Brazil?

  • 12:00 AM, September 5, 2012
  • 4416
Brazil has taken up India’s offer to review its notes on selecting a winner for the MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) competition, as the emerging South American nation looks to add 36 fighter aircraft to its Air Force. While visiting New Delhi, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met with Indian officials on the sidelines of the BRICS conference to confer over India’s selection of the Rafale. Dilma reviewed costs associated with the purchase of 136 Rafale and other related notes. While this new partnership puts Rafale on top, it comes as a blow to competitors Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen NG. Brazil has so far dropped EADS’ Eurofighter, Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 60 and Sukhoi’s SU-35 from the FX-II competition. The multi-billion dollar contract even has President Obama lobbying on Boeing behalf. During a state visit to Brazil in 2011, he presented Dilma with a joint communiqué from the U.S Senators, advising Brazil buy Boeing jets. However, since Obama’s visit, relations between the two countries have grown tense with Brazil’s lack of enthusiasm in supporting the U.S’ anti Iran and Syria policies. The lobbying still continues though. On the eve of Dilma’s visit to Washington in May, Boeing announced its intention to open an aerospace research center in Sao Paulo this year. Meanwhile, Brazil has postponed selecting a winner until the end of this year despite promising to make an announcement mid-year. According to local media reports, Dilma and her French counterpart Francois Hollande met over a new proposal on the Rafale at the UN’s recent Rio+ 20 conference. In 2009, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was quoted as saying he wanted to award the potentially worth $30 billion in the long run to France. The deal which drew widespread criticism and political pressures was not completed before the end of his term. By Bindiya Thomas
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