Boeing expects Brazil to pick a winner for its FX-2 fighter competition later this year, a top company official says.
"The original intention was to make a decision in the June timeframe," says Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing's military aircraft division. "We believe that as with all international sales, those dates tend to fluctuate."
But that being said, Chadwick says there are indications that the contest will not be significantly delayed.
"We are getting a lot of very positive vibes in terms of a decision sooner rather than later," Chadwick says. He adds that there are good indications that Brazil will decide on a winner this year.
Boeing believes it is in a good competitive position in Brazil, Chadwick says. The company's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is in competition with the Swedish Saab Gripen and the French Dassault Rafale fighters to supply the emerging South American economic powerhouse with 36 aircraft.
Chadwick says Boeing has had "unprecedented" support from the US government in its quest to secure the Brazilian tender. "They are leaning forward and allowing us to meet all capability requirements of the Brazilian air force," he says.
Additionally, Boeing has verbal and written assurances from the US government and the Congress that they will meet Brazil's technology transfer requirements, Chadwick says.
Meanwhile, the company and its subcontractors have made lots of headway in securing local partners to meet Brazil's industrial offset requirements.
Other than Brazil, the Chadwick says that there are opportunities for the F/A-18E/F in the Middle East and Asia.