GAVIAO PEIXOTO, Brazil, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Brazil and Argentina are to begin negotiations over the purchase of Swedish-designed Gripen fighters to be manufactured in Brazil.
The decision was announced in Brazil by visiting Argentine Defense Minister Agustín Rossi.
Brazil's Ministry of Defense said the talks over the possible purchase of 24 Brazil-produced Gripens would include not only the conditions of purchase but also Argentina's participation in the production of the Saab-designed aircraft.
"Our willingness to cooperate with Argentina, our neighbor and ally, is total," said Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim.
Brazil and Argentina already cooperate on a number of defense projects and during the Argentine minster's visit signed a new cooperative agreement to strengthen ties between their defense industries.
Brazil is expected to sign an agreement with Sweden later this year for the procurement of as many as three dozen Saab-made Gripen multi-role fighter aircraft, with provisions for technology transfer and local manufacturing.