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  • Could Floods Wash Away F-X2?
    Posted by Robert Wall 8:44 AM on Jan 14, 2011

    The floods that have hit south-eastern Brazil could have ramifications for the country's defense budget plans.

    In particular, it may give the country's new president, Dilma Roussef, an opening to walk away from the long-running F-X2 competition in which Boeing, Dassault and Saab are locked in battle. There have been indications coming out of Brazil the new president may be looking for a way out of the big procurement program, and the floods that have killed more than 500 Brazilians could provide the opening to walk away.

    Who would be hurt most by such a move is perhaps up for debate. There have been reports the Brazilian air force prefers the Saab Gripen, although president Lula (Roussef's predecessor) had said publicly (even before the technical evaluation was complete) the country would buy the Dassault Rafale, creating tension with the armed forces.

    The French, though, seem to hope they may have a second iron in the fire. Sources there say there are talks underway for Brazil to perhaps take some of the Mirage 2000-9 the United Arab Emirates wants to unload if it buys Rafale.

    One problem with that strategy is that, as part of F-X2, Brazil has been looking to get meaningful technology transfer and work for Embraer and others. How that would be met with the Mirage 2000-9 deal remains to be cogently articulated by anyone.

    Tags: ar99, Brazil, Rafale, Gripen, F/A-18E/F

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