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Brazil to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France

Article published on the 2009-09-08 Latest update 2009-09-08 09:09 TU

Brazil has agreed to buy 36 Rafale jets(Photo: Dassault Aviation)

Brazil has agreed to buy 36 Rafale jets
(Photo: Dassault Aviation)

Brazil has announced that it plans to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from French aeroplane manufacturer Dassault Aviation in a deal that will strengthen military ties between the two countries.

The public statement that talks had begun to seal the pact was issued on Brazil's Independence Day on Monday by visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"We are definitively consolidating a strategic partnership we started in 2005," Lula said in a joint news conference in Brasilia.

A part of the deal means that Dassault will also provide Brazil with the technology to build its own Rafale jets.

Only six would be built entirely in France, after which assembly would be gradually transferred to Brazil.

"We're not afraid to share our technology because we know that in the 21st century, countries need to talk as equals," said Sarkozy.

It is the first foreign sale for the Rafale and will help strengthen the military ties between Brazil and France.

The imminent contract, worth an estimated 4.5 to 5 billion euros, will supply Brazil's air force for the next three decades.

In return, France is to buy around ten military transport aircraft Brazil's air force plans to build with Embraer, the national aircraft manufacturer.

Those planes, the KC-390, are designed to carry lighter loads than the troubled and delayed Airbus A400 heavy military transport plane to which France is committed.

Dassault said it should finalise the sale to Brazil in 2010.

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