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US remains interested in purchase of Brazilian attack aircraft for Afghanistan

Friday, March 2nd 2012 - 05:41 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Burns denied there is no link with Brazil’s plans to buy 36 jet fighters Burns denied there is no link with Brazil’s plans to buy 36 jet fighters

United States remains interested in a possible purchase of light attack aircraft made by Brazil's Embraer despite cancelling a contract this week, a top US official said Thursday.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, on a visit to Rio de Janeiro, said the contract cancellation was not a reflection on the Super Tucano -- to be used in Afghanistan -- which he described as “a very fine aircraft.”

Brazil's foreign ministry issued a strongly-worded statement, voicing its “surprise” at the cancellation of the bid, particularly “its manner and timing.”

“This development is not considered conducive to strengthening relations between the two countries on defence affairs,” the terse statement said.

The Pentagon cancelled Tuesday a 355 million dollars contract with US firm Sierra Nevada Corp. and Brazil's Embraer, and announced an investigation after a legal challenge from rival American aerospace firm Hawker Beechcraft Corp.

“Embraer is a great company and the Super Tucano is a very fine aircraft,” Burns told reporters in Rio. “The US is now in the midst of some internal processes but we remain interested.”

Burns said there was no link between that contract and a tough bidding war in Brazil for 36 air force fighter jets. US-based Boeing is battling for the deal worth between 4-7 billion dollars with France's Dassault and Swedish maker Saab.

“They are two separate issues,” Burns said. ”We're convinced that the (Boeing) F18 is the best available aircraft. One thing that reflects that is that it's the aircraft the US is going to be using for the next 20 or 30 years,“ he said.

”We're convinced that the technology transfer package that we're offering along with that aircraft is unprecedented in our relationship and is also the best of the available packages.“

On the Embraer contract, US General Norton Schwartz said Wednesday that the Air Force would move ”quickly“ to re-launch the contest for 20 light support planes for the Afghan military as funds for the program will expire at the end of fiscal year 2013.

The contract for 20 Embraer AT-29 Super Tucano aircraft was awarded in December as part of plans to arm the Afghan military amid a NATO troop drawdown. But the US Air Force said it was not ”satisfied” with the paperwork and announced a review of the award.

The US military wants to provide a light aircraft for Afghanistan's air fleet to conduct flight training, aerial reconnaissance and combat support operations for ground troops.

Top Comments

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  • Redcoat

    This is Redcoat www.redcoat, broadcasting from our studios in the Slums of BA.
    It’s another sunny day in the city by the Rio de la Plata, the city that’s always sleeping with highs of 27 degrees in downtown Buenos Aires and we have just got reports of yet another building collapsing into one of the countless holes we have around the city.
    In fact the buildings here are in such a state of disrepair, that the bullets holes the British left in 1807 still haven’t been filled in yet.
    And the guy that singed his eyebrows and burnt his fingers when he set fire to a British flag on the streets of Buenos Aires yesterday, is going to sue the manufacturers claiming he didn’t expect it to go up so quickly, a spokesman for the company says that he shouldn’t have dowsed it kerosene first.
    But the news TODAY is dominated by the continuing Malvinas, or as the British colonial bastards like to call it, the Falklands dispute. Our gracious leader Cristina Kirchner has pitched a tent outside the UN building and will be begging for scraps to be sent to the many staving in our glorious mother country while petitioning the delegates on fixing the law so we can rightfully gain sovereignty over our islands that are rightfully ours.
    As Hillary Clinton was coming out of the building she nearly tripped over our gracious leader but just had time to say “get out of my bloody way”
    More reports about the Malvinas, even though this thread has nothing to do with the islands, because it’s all us Argentinians can think of to talk about, I wonder why?

    Mar 02nd, 2012 - 11:43 am 0
  • Raymo

    An extremely cheap alternative would be to buy some Argentine mirages and skyhawks but you'd need flippers and an air tank to reach most of them1

    Mar 04th, 2012 - 02:49 am 0
  • Tigre2000

    Hey Redcoat go back to your London Ghetto where you crawled from,
    The Britt redcoats got there arses kicked when they miserably failed in there attempt to conquer Argentina, go and eat your Spam crap from a can
    you demented parasite.

    Mar 05th, 2012 - 09:30 pm 0
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