Pressured by the announcement of Brazil that it was in advanced talks with France to acquire from that country 36 fighter jets - a US$ 4 billion deal - the United States Embassy in Brazil issued a note informing that the American government has decided to transfer to Brazil the technology of the fighter plane F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The military jet is built by Boeing. The American government has also decided to allow the war aircraft to be assembled in Brazil.Â Â
The Super Hornet, is in competition with the Gripen, from the Swedish company Saab, and the Rafale, made by French firm Dassault. The Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's administration has announced it will have a final word on the deal by the end of October.
Commenting on the new development, president Lula, in a very good mood, told reporters this Tuesday morning in Brasília: "Soon I will be getting these fighter jets for free."
The technology transfer was Brazil's main argument in favor of negotiating with Paris, since Sarkozy had not only promised Lula to transfer technology, but also to allow that part of the aircraft be built in Brazil.
In a interview with TV5 Monde, a French Channel, the Brazilian president stated the negotiations with France were well advanced.
In that interview Lula made a reference to Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer and its capability of building the war plane: "We cannot buy a fighter plane without owning its technology and this is because we intend to make, at least in part, this plane in Brazil. We have an important company that is able to do it."
There was news on Independence Day, September 7, that the French sale was a done deal. The next day, however, Brazil's Defense Ministry issued a note denying that the Brazilian government had taken a final decision on the acquisition. The document made it clear that Brasília is still open for negotiations and invited the US and Sweden to continue in the competition.
Here's the US Embassy's note in its entirety:
The United States Mission to Brazil has received a number of public inquiries regarding the status of the FX-2 bid made by Boeing.Â We understand that a final decision has not yet been made regarding the winner of the contract.Â
The F/A-18 Super Hornet is a combat-proven fighter with advanced technology, and we believe it is the best in comparison to its competitors.Â The U.S. Government fully supports the sale of the F/A-18 Super Hornet to the Brazilian Air Force.Â Our government approved the transfer of all necessary technology.Â We continue to believe that our proposal is strong and competitive.
The United States Congress' review of the potential sale to the Government of Brazil of the F/A-18 Super Hornet concluded on September 5 with no formal objection to the proposed sale.Â
This means that U.S. Government's approval of the transfer to Brazil of the advanced technologies associated with the U.S. Government's offer of the F/A-18 Super Hornet is final.Â Final assembly of the Super Hornet in Brazil has also been approved by the U.S. Government.Â
Boeing's multi-billion dollar offset package to be invested directly into the Brazilian aerospace industry will transfer technology related to military design and production, provide autonomy in key areas of program support, and develop a broad Brazilian aerospace industry beyond just fighter aircraft, through direct involvement with the world's largest aerospace company.
The United States welcomes the opportunity to enter into open negotiations for the FX-2 competition, which would build on the strong military partnership that Brazil and the United States enjoy, based on common interests and shared values.