“Brazil has one of the longest coastlines in the world and we need submarines to patrol and defend this coast,” he said.
The Brazilian-French submarine program was agreed to in 2008 by Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Nicolas Sarkozy and is Brazil’s most costly defense project.
The air force of Latin America’s largest nation is also seeking to renew its fleet with the purchase of 36 fighter jets, a coveted defense contract worth $4 billion initially. Boeing Co., France’s Dassault Aviation SA and Sweden’s Saab are in the running for the deal.
Brazil has insisted on the maximum transfer of technology in such military contracts to build up its emerging private defense industry that has become a major arms exporter.
On Wednesday, the defense unit of Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA won its first-ever U.S. military contract for the sale of 20 Super Tucano light attack planes for use in counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. ($1 = 1.9771 Brazilian reais)