Stewart Penney / London

The Dassault Mirage 2000 is the favourite in the Brazilian competition, while Austria is said to favour the Gripen

Brazil is to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for 24 fighters on 1 August to meet its F-X BR requirement. Combat aircraft manufacturers will get a second chance to compete when Austria issues a fighter RFP in the next few weeks.

Industry sources say that Brazil has signalled that it requires new aircraft and will not follow recent trends and seek an initial batch of used fighters. Around 100 fighters could eventually be procured.

Brasilia will seek proposals from Alenia, for the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Mirage 2000BR, EADS Mako, Lockheed Martin F-16 and Saab/BAE Systems Gripen. Russia is also set to receive RFPs, with offers being sought on the RSK MiG-29SMT and Sukhoi Su-27. Bids are expected to dictate French, Israeli or South Africa weapons to circumvent the USA's reluctance to export advanced missiles to Latin America.

The competition will be reduced to a shortlist of two or three fighters later this year with a decision due next year. French companies own 20%of Brazilian manufacturer Embraer, which is set to hand the advantage to the Mirage 2000. The aircraft will replace Mirage IIIEBR/DBR fighters

Austria's Ministry of Defence has finalised its RFP and is awaiting finance ministry approval before issuing the document within "the next few weeks". The MoD says that in addition to the Gripen, which is considered by many to be the frontrunner, the ministry is inviting proposals on the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet, Lockheed MartinF-16, Dassault Mirage 2000-5 and Eurofighter Typhoon.


Austria expects proposals for up to 30 fighters, with at least 24 single-seaters. The budget, however, is likely to be capped at ASch2 billion ($126 million) for the 10-year deal and the MoD says that going into the contest "all players are equal", with decisions likely to be taken on a purely budgetary basis. A decision is due by early next year with delivery starting in 2003 or 2004.

The central European nation operates Saab Drakens.

Source: Flight International