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Government purchases 36 of Saab's Gripen NG aircraft for its new multimission fighter contract, at an investment of US$ 4.5 billion

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BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL - December 19, 2013 ( newswire) The Brazilian Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, announced this Wednesday, December 18, the winning bidder of an international auction for new multimission fighters to support the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).

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Accompanied by Brazil's Commander of the Air Force, Brigadier Juniti Saito, Minister Amorim revealed the federal government's decision to purchase the aircraft Gripen NG, built by the consortium led by Swedish manufacturer Saab.

Other contestants for the bid included French fighter Rafale (built by Dassault) and the North American F-18 (built by Boeing). The announcement was made at a press conference held late in the afternoon at the Ministry of Defense.

According to Minister Amorim, the Swedish fighter was chosen for the government's F-X2 program for technical reasons. “The choice was the object of much study and careful consideration, and took into account performance, effective technology transfer and costs, both for acquisition and maintenance. The choice was based on these three factors," said the Minister.

The decision, according to Brigadier Juniti Saito, was also influenced by the offset rates offered by the Saab bid, as determined by the National Defense Strategy (END). “We have several industries that have offered to contribute to the development of the fighter. At the end of its development, we will have access to all the technology used by the aircraft," said the Commander of Brazil's Air Force.

The Gripen NG fighter stood out among its competitors due to its cutting-edge technology, including advanced sensor and data fusion systems that provide pilots with a complete and accurate picture of their deployment scenarios.

The new multimission aircraft was designed for air control, air defense, air reconnaissance and air-to-ground or air-to-sea attacks.

According to FAB, the acquisition of the Swedish fighter will allow Brazil's Air Force to respond to threats anywhere in the country with full loads of weapons and fuel.

The winning bid comprises the supply of 36 (thirty six) aircraft. The investment is US$ 4.5 billion, to be paid over a disbursement schedule through 2023.

The first aircraft is expected to arrive approximately 48 months after the financing agreement is signed – which is expected to occur in December 2014.

History of the Program

In 2000, the FX project defined the need to equip the FAB with aircrafts of air defense and air superiority capabilities compatible to the geopolitical relevance of Brazil . The FX program was the result of studies initiated in 1992, when the FAB determined the initial requirements of the aircraft that would replace the F-103 Mirage III (which had been in use in the Anápolis (GO) Air Base since the early 70s).

Below are the keymilestones associated with the FX program.


Brazilian Air Force Command initiates the selection of bidders for equipment compatible with the established requirements. At the end of the year, aircraft models Gripen, F-16, Mig-29, Mirage 2000 and Sukoi 30 are short-listed as potential purchases.


The bidding process is suspended by the federal government at the beginning of the year, and then reestablished later in October.


With the deadline for the submission of bids not until December, the government filled the gap created by the decommissioning of the F-103 Mirage III (planned for 2005) by purchasing 12 used Mirage 2000-C from the French Air Force.


The Office of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force resumed its study of the operational needs and characteristics required of the new multimission fighters planned for purchase.


The FAB creates the F-X2 Project Management Committee, responsible for overseeing processes related to the acquisition, including directly choosing the new aircraft. At the end of that year, three aircraft were "short-listed" to proceed through the acquisition: Boeing (F-18 E/F Superhornet), Dassault (Rafale) and Saab (Gripen NG). The selection took into account operational, logistical and technical aspects, as well as the offset rates and technology transfer offered to Brazil's domestic industry.


The three finalists submitted their proposals for the final selection.


In January, the Air Force Command submitted the Final F-X2 Project Report to Brazil's Ministry of Defense. The primary purpose of the Report was to assist the federal government in making its final purchase decision.


Supported by the President of the Republic, Minister of Defense Celso Amorim and Commander of the Air Force Brigadier Juniti Saito announced the decision to acquire the Gripen NG aircraft from Swedish company Saab, thus ending the selection of suppliers for the F-X2 Program.

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