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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Will Reanalyze Offers to Buy Jets

Tuesday, January 18th 2011 - 19:20 UTC
Full article 34 comments

The Brazilian president has decided to postpone the purchase of fighter jets.

This measure comes as a surprise since her predecessor President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva had expressed his preference for the offer made by French the company Dassault to provide Brazil with 36 Rafale jets. When he stepped down from office on January 1st the decision which had not yet been formalized went to Rousseff.

Rousseff has decided to reevaluate this topic and has no clear favorite as of yet, said a source high up in government. “This is her decision now and she would like to analyze the details carefully” informed the source which wanted to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the subject at hand.

Fighting for the contract, which is said to be worth more than 4,000 million dollars, are the Swedish firm Saab with their Gripen NG jets, and the American F-18 jets from Boeing.

Last week the Brazilian president asked American senators visiting the country for additional guarantees on the transfer of technology by Congress in order to improve Boeing’s offer, informed sources with knowledge on what transpired.

This deal is central to Brazil’s efforts to increase its capacity for defense at a time when the country’s influence on global issues grows alongside its economy.

Political considerations have played an important role in the process. Relations between Brazil and the United States have deteriorated in the last few years of Da Silva’s government, but Rousseff has shown clear signs that she wants to improve ties with the US.

 Former president Da Silva had close ties with the French leader Nicolas Sarkozy, with whom he signed a strategic defense agreement. Sarkozy, who has invested a great deal of diplomatic capital to close the deal, as well as several members of his cabinet expressed uneasiness towards Rousseff's decision to wait.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • GeoffWard

    I am not surprised by this turn of events.

    Lula's 'deal', its premature announcement, its denial, its confirmation, its back-tracking were all entirely in keeping with a President who had 'lost the plot' and was more interested in headlines and grand-standing than the hard-headedness of *real* governance.

    Those who know me know through the media are aware how hard I fought to keep Dilma away from the Presidency (I am old enough to have lived through the years of international terrorism and, knowing her contribution, I was not prepared to give her the benefit of any doubt.

    But here we are, with a new President DOING THE RIGHT THINGS.
    All may yet turn out for the best.

    I will post my personal appraisal once the first 100 days are past!

    Jan 18th, 2011 - 10:08 pm 0
  • Forgetit87

    Silly post, GeoffWard. Lula's preference for the French jets was politically motivated. And so was his backtracking. France's stance toward Iran, its foot-dragging in the EU-Mercosur trade talks, plus the presence of American technology in the French jets, were Lula's motivations for changing his opinion on the Rafales. His hesitance was a thought-out prelude for his successor to change preferences more easily. It had nothing to do with grabbing headlines. Anyway, who are you?

    Jan 18th, 2011 - 10:50 pm 0
  • Martin_Fierro

    That is one beautiful jet, [Rafale] I'm no expert but I can't quite image why Brazil would opt for a different system.

    I see Argentina taking the same route given its history with Dassault, this would increase the number of joint aerial exercises between Argentina and Brazil.

    Jan 19th, 2011 - 03:22 am 0
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