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Fernando Alcoforado *
After a process that lasted more th...
not having U.S. suppliers that do not allow the transfer of technology. In the case of
Gripen fighter aircraft not know wh...
government budget federal. In other words, there will only be increased resources to
meet the needs of the country, includ...
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The questionable purchase of swedish fighter aircraft for brazil


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The questionable purchase of swedish fighter aircraft for brazil

  1. 1. THE QUESTIONABLE PURCHASE OF SWEDISH FIGHTER AIRCRAFT FOR BRAZIL Fernando Alcoforado * After a process that lasted more than 12 years, the Brazilian government decided to buy 36 Gripen NG Swedish fighter aircraft manufacturer Saab. The package was closed for $ 4.5 billion, a price well below that estimated by the market, which revolved around US$ 7 billion. The first fighter aircraft should only be ready to fly in 2018. Saab supplanted the F -18 Super Hornet of Boeing and French Dassault Rafale. The F -18 would have an operating cost 50% higher than the Gripen and in the case of Rafale costs increase by 100%. The Gripen NG is a new version, still in development, of other fighter aircraft, the Gripen CD, by the same company, which is already used by other countries. The Brazilian government's argument for choosing the Gripen fighter aircraft lies in the fact that the Swedish model presents a series of advantages in terms of performance, technology transfer and cost compared to the other two competitors. Of the three models that participated in the competition, the Gripen NG is the only one that has never been tested in operations because it is developing. For now, the Swedish company has only a prototype with only 300 hours of flight. The Brazilian government agreement with the Swedish Saab predicts that 80% of the structure of the fighter aircraft will be produced in Brazil in partnership with Embraer and, ultimately, the Brazilian government will dominate the technology and will own the new model. It should be noted that the Saab Gripen NG have not been properly tested operationally unlike Dassault Rafale and Super Hornet F18 Boeing in terms of flight hours. Despite the Saab aircraft have not been properly tested operationally, the Brazilian government considered that it was the best alternative to cost-benefit ratio for the country, considering that the Gripen will cost less, maintenance is cheaper, besides providing transfer technology. The Brazilian government believes that the choice of fighter aircraft Gripen NG from Saab will help Brazilian industry to take a new leap in technological production aircraft. Comparing the Saab Gripen NG with the Dassault Rafale and Boeing Super Hornet it appears that its advantage is verified at maximum reach with External Tank (4,070 Km) and price. The Gripen NG beats the F18 Super Hornet and is equal to Rafale in the radius of combat (attack mission with extra tanks) around 1,800 Km. Gripen NG loses to its competitors in the items: 1 ) Maximum takeoff weight (loaded) in Kg; 2 ) war load in kg, 3) range without external tank in Km, 4) engine type ( single-engine Gripen 's and the others are twin-engine), 5) engine (Gripen possesses1 turbine and the other two turbines) and 6) maximum altitude in meters. The Gripen NG is equal to Rafale and beats Super Hornet F18 in technology transfer [See Projeto FX-2 (Project FX – 2) on the website <>]. From the foregoing, it appears that the Gripen fighter aircraft is a small plane that was reworked by Saab to have greater fighting autonomy with many of their components of U.S. origin, starting with its single engine. In the article cited above is informed that the biggest problem of the Gripen is the short range, with its low autonomy making it unfeasible for a continental country like Brazil with extensive Amazon being overflown with a single engine. Moreover, it is a high-risk project because the Gripen fighter aircraft does not exist because it is developing. In turn, the Rafale has the advantage of 1
  2. 2. not having U.S. suppliers that do not allow the transfer of technology. In the case of Gripen fighter aircraft not know what would be the attitude of the U.S. suppliers of components on the transfer of technology to Brazil. The main criticisms against the Rafale arise, however, the fact that has high cost of purchase and maintenance. The Boeing Super Hornet was rejected, however, because it did not allow the transfer of technology to Brazil. Concerning the acquisition of 36 Gripen fighter aircraft by Brazilian government, it is very little to confronting the challenge of ensuring the safety of the Brazilian airspace that, at this juncture, Brazil should have 1,200 fighters. This means that the purchase of these aircraft would not address the weaknesses of the FAB (Brazilian Air Force) [See Projeto FX-2 (Project FX – 2) on the website <>]. In this article it is evident the fact that Brazil will not go anywhere just thinking about small acquisitions as the Gripen conditioned to an unlikely and fantastical technology transfer. Brazil will only achieve its goals of effective homeland defense if to restructure the Brazilian economy on new foundations with the adoption of a development strategy that helps to overcome the economic, financial and technological dependence on the outside. It appears from the foregoing that the decision of the Brazilian government to buy 36 Swedish fighter aircraft when need at least 1,200 aircraft, is insufficient for the FAB can fulfill their task of defending the country and be able to cope, in quantity and quality, who attempt to dispose of any wealth of the country, both as the Green Amazon and Blue Amazon, Maritime Jurisdictional area, with the vast oil wealth of the pre-salt layer. The FAB should be able to defend the two Amazons, while. Whereas the potential threats to Brazil are related to the increasing interest of the great powers by the two Amazons, Brazil cannot try to protect yourself these invaders with less than 1,200 handsets air superiority long range (5000 km or more) and Medium range (3000 km or more), for use in scenarios of high intensity and always link networks [See Projeto FX-2 (Project FX – 2) on the website <>]. This condition is not met, however, with the purchase of 36 Saab Gripen fighter aircraft. It appears from the foregoing that the decision taken by the government Rousseff was not the one that best meets the protection requirements of the national territory because Gripen is a small fighter aircraft, has a single motor, is short-range, low - making autonomy impracticable for a continental country like Brazil. Moreover, the decision to purchase 36 Swedish fighter aircraft is palliative because does not meet the needs of the country that demand 1,200 aircraft to accomplish the mission of defense of Brazil. It is clear that the resources needed for the acquisition of 1,200 fighter aircraft and equip appropriate level in the Brazilian armed forces to assume their role of defending national sovereignty would require the adoption of changes in neoliberal economic federal government policy that favors the payment of interest and amortization of internal and external debt to domestic and international financial system. The Brazilian people and, in particular, the military sector in Brazil need to demand the government Dilma Rousseff to change of neoliberal economic policy that contributes to half of the Brazilian government budget to be allocated to the servicing of domestic and external public debt over needs of the country in economic infrastructure (energy, transport and communications) and social (education, health, sanitation and housing) and also of national defense in 2013 that funds were equivalent to 1.72 % of the total 2
  3. 3. government budget federal. In other words, there will only be increased resources to meet the needs of the country, including the armed forces, if there is less allocation of resources from the federal government budget for the national and international financial system. * Alcoforado, Fernando, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona,, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others. 3