BRASILIA, Brazil, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Saab's Gripen E fighter has been chosen by Brazil as the country's new multi-mission fighter, beating out Dassault's Rafale and Boeing's F-18.
Defense Minister Celso Amorim, in announcing the decision, said the choice of the Gripen for the country's F-X2 program came down to technical considerations.
"The choice was the object of much study and careful consideration, and took into account performance, effective technology transfer and acquisition costs as well as operating costs," he said. "The final choice was based on these three factors."
The chief of the Brazilian Air Force, Brig. Juniti Saito, said, "We have several industries that have offered to contribute to the development of the aircraft. At the end of development, we will have access to all the technology of the aircraft."
Brazil plans to order 36 Gripen E jets at a cost of about $4.5 billion. The first aircraft will arrive in Brazil about 48 months after signing of a financing agreement. That agreement must be signed by December of next year.