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02:47 PM, August 6, 2013
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Brazil to Retire Mirage Fighters And Induct Refurbished F-5s
F-5EM Tiger II fighter aircraft. Photo credits: Airliners.net

The Brazilian Air Force plans to retire its Dassault Mirage fighter jets by the end of this year and replace them with refurbished F-5s, a local daily reported.

The Dassault Mirage 2000 jet fleet, stationed at an air force base in Anapolis, will be officially retired by December end with their replacement still pending.

The second-hand Mirage jets were purchased from France for $80 million in 2005 have reached the end of their service life.  

These aircraft which cannot be resold is to be replaced temporarily by 6 to 12 U.S. F-5M aircraft, which have been refurbished by local company Embraer, the daily reported.

These upgraded U.S. aircrafts are equipped with advanced electronic warfare systems, targeting and self-defence systems, SELEX Grifo F radar, INS/GPS-based navigation and air-to-air refuelling systems, as well as greater operational capabilities, extending its service life by at least 15 more years.

The purchase of about 36 fighter jets, worth $4.5 billion, is expected to be finalized by the end of the year, before the Mirage fleet stops operating, said the report.

The multi-billion-dollar replacement contract has Dassault’s Rafale jets, Boeing's F/A-18 jet and Saab's Gripen NG as bidders. 

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