Posted by: Neelam Mathews
Jan 8, 2012
Even as India is believed to have given a June deadline to Dassault to present its offset plans, LaTribune reports Brazil, yet to decide on its MMRCA, has said Rafale’s maintenance costs are higher compared to its competitors, the Gripen (Saab) and F-18 (Boeing). “This does not mean that the Rafale is out of play,” it notes.
(French to English translation of the article in Google of the Tribune isn’t the world’s best! Apologies) But, here goes- some major points:
There are many supporters of the Rafale that say:. "This is the most technologically advanced aircraft……We have many things to learn from cooperation with Dassault Aviation…..But the French offer must be better explained or otherwise improved," said an official to the Tribune. “As for the F/A-18 Hornet (Boeing), another rival for the Rafale, it benefits from euro / dollar rate to be competitive with the French aircraft,” quotes the paper.
Like many countries, Brazil has a lack of money in the coffers. "We pushed choice (...) and it will take some time depending on the time it will take the Brazilian economy to recover", said Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil recently.
“The Rafale is supported by an enabling environment between France and Brazil. The visit to Paris two days of Dilma Rousseff has been very positive, and contact with François Hollande went well. …..Brazil is very satisfied with its cooperation with France in the naval field…..DCNS naval group did a good job under the contract Prosub (sale of submarines) ….Which is a guarantee of reliability for the Rafale for which significant transfers of technology are planned. ..Negotiations between Dassault Aviation and India are being followed closely by a Brazilian team. Finally, there is a compatibility between the Brazilian aircraft carrier (the Sao Paulo, former Foch) and Charles de Gaulle. Hence the attractiveness of the Rafale to Brazil, including its marine version that might be of interest if Brazil adopts a new aircraft carrier with catapults. That would play out the Gripen NG (Saab) ... but not the F/A-18 Hornet (Boeing).”
There are many more twists and turns. Writes La Tribune: "Embraer has been underestimated by the French when they were shareholders of the Brazilian group (20% Safran, Dassault Aviation,EADS and Thales …..Embraer was not treated as a true partner. Brazilians had the impression that the French simply wanted control…. And remember that Embraer is a competitor of Dassault Aviation business jet. However, Boeing was much more of a partner…The two companies have signed a partnership program of Brazilian lightweight fighter, Super Tucano.