Brazilian President Lula da Silva said Monday that the decision on the purchase of 36 fighter jets for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) will be made in early 2010. The three competing models being considered are the Rafale, from France’s Dassault, the F18 Super Hornet from US Boeing and the Swedish Gripen, from Saab.
In a speech with military officers Lula da Silva also informed the Army is getting the first batch of 34 tanks, which are part of a 3,000 armoured vehicles project to be purchased by the Brazilian Army until 2030. They will all be manufactured in Brazil.
We are turning our commitment to modernize and refit the three forces into a reality, Lula da Silva said during the luncheon. He also revealed that last week he sent Congress supplementary bill 97 which strengthens the Ministry of Defence and extends to the Navy and Air Force the power to police the country's borders, so far limited to the Army.
The Guarani project being developed by the Army since 2007 to replace all combat vehicles by new models developed and manufactured in Brazil involves an investment of 3.43 billion USD over 20 years.
The armoured vehicles will be built by Iveco, a Fiat subsidiary, in Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais state.
Three months ago Lula da Silva signed an agreement with French president Nicholas Sarkozy for the supply of four conventional submarines and an additional nuclear powered. All include technology transfer, Brazil’s main condition for signing the huge contracts.