Brazil fighter buyers reject SU-35, Typhoon and F-16

Three of the six bidders who responded in July to Brazil’s tender for at least 36 (and possibly 120) multi-role fighters will advance to the final round of the competition. The Brazilian Air Force announced the three teams advancing today (warning: Portugese language link — use Google translator): Boeing F/A-18E/F, Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen. Brazil rejected bids from Sukhoi, Eurofighter and Lockheed Martin.

Brazil wants a multi-role fighter to patrol the skies as much as monitor smugglers in the Amazon and guard the country’s offshore oil rigs. But Brasilia also wants the multi-billion dollar contract to re-energize a long-dormant domestic defense industry through indigenous production and as much technology transfer as can be afforded, or, perhaps, allowed.

Given the USA’s more restrictive technology transfer policies, Boeing should consider itself fortunate to remain in the competition, although the F/A-18E/F is certainly an acceptable aircraft for Brazil’s requirements. Brazil’s deep political, industrial and even cultural (the latter is my personal observation) links with France seem to give the Rafale the edge. Of course, if affordability becomes the overriding issue, Saab’s very capable Gripen could surprise the competition.


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11 Responses to Brazil fighter buyers reject SU-35, Typhoon and F-16

  1. just don't know 1 October, 2008 at 9:20 pm #

    this is really bad, everything is being litigated now. When selections come down to being within 1% and other factors what do you do?

    the stakes are so high, one company wins, the other goes out of business.

    We’re going to litigate the DoD and the gov. to death, i don’t know what the answer is, maybe DoD just starts building all the systems themselves with gov employees and contract out small part

    just don’t know

  2. Obamanite 2 October, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    So the Typhoon strikes out, again. Seems like every time it faces any real competition, the Typhoon crashes and burns. The notion that the UK may forgo the F-35B and opt, instead, for a navalized Typhoon is ludicrous, as the latter would wind up being more expensive and less effective. Indeed, I would say that the entire Typhoon program is an utter failture, both fiscally and militarily. As has been pointed out, a jobs program for EADS, a bail out for UK, German, Italian and Spanish defense industries…

  3. Beck Nader 2 October, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    I agree with you Stephen. It looks like Dassault will win. Another indication for that are the yesterday’s news that French will collaborate with Brazil for the construction of the Nuclear Sub. So, again, it seems to me you are right, since technology transfer and offset work seem to be playing a major role in this competition.

  4. Stephen Trimble 2 October, 2008 at 5:46 pm #

    Thanks for adding the detail about the Brazil-French nuke sub. France’s Dassault also still owns a stake in Embraer, I believe, and supplied Mirage 2000s to the FAB. I’ve heard from Brazil, however, that the Mirage experience for the FAB has not been entirely positive for Dassault, and that could come back to haunt them in this competition. The Gripen could be more than a darkhorse.

  5. Royce 2 October, 2008 at 6:36 pm #

    It’s odd to hear that the Brazilians have had difficulty with Dassault regarding their Mirages when so many other customers appear satisfied. I wonder what the problem is.

  6. 8 October, 2008 at 12:47 am #

    The future fighter for FAB will be RAFALE. No one in MERCOSUR wants to be “encarcelate” with EEUU sencible tech nider EU, incluided England (because Malvinas war remembrance).
    But apart of this, Brasil and Argentina thinks in the future aircraftcarrier and both countrys are pretty large with many ocean milles.
    Both use Desault tech since more than 30 years ago. Check ZONAMILITAR for more intel.

  7. Robert Rathbone 8 October, 2008 at 6:09 am #


    You are quite obviously an American. How can you beleive that any military aircraft comp. is based on the performance of a product and not the politics…? Based on performance, the Typhoon would have not have lost to a warmed up F-15 in Korea, it was hardly surprising that Korea selected an American product when their goverment will pay for them with the US military “aid” they receive, is it?!

    I think Gripen will win this one, more than capable for what they need and a lot cheaper than the rest!

  8. Layman 10 October, 2008 at 1:55 pm #

    Any one of the fighters mentioned would be acceptable choices. In this circle, there are no lemons. So even if the final selections are political choices – the Brazilian Air Force would not really be short-changed. I am surprised that the Boeing is still in the running – given the loops buyers will have to jump through to obtain weaponry from the US. The real differentiators in this class of fighters are avionics and weapons management. The Gripen selected by the SAAF has proved to be a capable, cost effective platform – well suited to the more rustic environments.

  9. Stephen Trimble 10 October, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    I’m surprised Boeing is still in the running too. Not because the Super Hornet doesn’t match up well with the others, but because of the tech transfer requirements. All public indications so far are that the US government is supporting the bid, but we haven’t heard what the congressional staffs think about it.

  10. Nathan Crislip 10 June, 2010 at 3:03 am #

    Usted hizo algunos buenos puntos allí. Hice una búsqueda sobre el tema y encontró la mayoría de la gente estará de acuerdo con su blog Publica .

  11. Mitchel Dering 10 June, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    Io di solito non faccio post nel Blog, ma il tuo post sito lavoro mi ha costretto a, il lavoro incredibile .. bella …

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