LAAD11: Sukhoi still making push for F-X2 bid in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro
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Sukhoi is still pushing for a chance to compete for Brazil's F-X2 fighter contract despite being dropped from the air force's short-list two years ago.

"We still apply all possible efforts open to us to get back" in the competition, says Mikhail Bregman, first deputy general of Sukhoi for sales and marketing, speaking through an interpreter.

Bregman says he thinks Sukhoi's bid based on the Su-35 is "better by far" compared to the F-X2 competitors, which now include the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen.

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The Su-35 possesses some capabilities even superior to Sukhoi's design for a fifth-generation fighter, which is called the promising front-line fighter aircraft (PAK-FA).

So far, Brazil has not officially re-opened the competition to new bidders.

President Dilma Rousseff, who was inaugurated on 1 January, has launched a comprehensive review of the air force's two-year-old evaluation process for F-X2, which possibly further delays contract award to next year.

But Rousseff's review is considering only the existing three bids.

"Since we don't have any final decision [by the Brazilian government], we can't exclude any options at this time," says Sergei Goreslaveskiy, head of the Russian delegation to the Latin America Aerospace and Defense 2011 conference in Rio de Janeiro.

Meanwhile, Boeing, Dassault and Saab continued making their case in Brazil this week for the 36-aircraft contract.