Amid budget constraints, Brazilian Air Force wants to buy 30 more Gripen fighters

The Air Force commander told the local press that plans are for 66 fighter jets and dismissed rumors about the purchase of the Lockheed Martin F-35

In addition to confirming the decision to cut the order for 28 Embraer KC-390 airlifters, the Brazilian Air Force Commander, Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior, admitted plans for a new order of 30 Gripen fighters from Saab.

The statement was made to the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, in a second part of the interview published on Monday. “Capacity-based planning takes us today, based on our employment assumptions, to 66 planes,” said the Brigadier.

The proposal is still in the initial phase due to the lack of budgetary resources. The Gripen program, for example, cost SEK 39.3 billion, about $4.3 billion in current values.

The original agreement included technology transfer, with a partnership with Embraer, for the two-seat variant of the fighter to be produced at its facilities in Brazil.

The Gripen and KC-390 (FAB)

Baptista Junior once again denied rumors about an alleged interest in the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter. “This is delusion,” he assured.

The US 5th generation fighter has recently won contracts in international competitions such as Switzerland and Finland, defeating several competitors such as Gripen itself.

The Air Force Commander, however, considered it unfair to call the plane a 4th generation Saab because of its advanced software architecture.

Baptista Juniou confessed a certain disappointment with the A-1 attack aircraft (AMX), a project developed by Embraer in partnership with Italian companies that are now part of the Leonardo group. “We suffered with the AMX, because many things made for it only existed here and in Italy”, he said – the aircraft was only acquired by Brazil and Italy in the 1980s in relatively small quantities.

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