In Brazil, Everybody is holding his breath, waiting for the brazilian elections to be over. Nelson Jobim said a few weeks ago that President Lula will release his choice before the end of its mandat in January 2010 and rumors in the press tell that an anoncement of the winner could be made as soon as the new brazilian president is selected or during Cruzex 2010 in November.
In the meantime, Saab has announced the creation of a R&D center in the city of San Bernado no matter what is the gripen fate in the contest. Conversely, Boeing and Dassault remain completely silent. Is this last Saab move a desperate attempt to steal the deal or is it a clue that Brazil may actually chose the Gripen ?
Another rumor emerged last week when brazilian defence Minister Nelson Jobim met is counter part in the UAE last week : Brazil would buy the Mirage 2000-9 of the UAE Air Force which would buy Rafale to France. This would be a lesser bad for the Dassault who would keep 2 important markets but at the expend of the Rafale sale to Brazil.
Same uncertainty in India where the american GE F414 has been selected for the Tejas MK2. At a first glance, this is not very good for the Rafale and even worst for the Typhoon whose engine was also in the contest. On the other hand this may help the Gripen-NG and the Super Hornet in the MMRCA competition as both fighters use a version of the F414.
Nevertheless, Indian contests are always full of surprises and, at the end, there might be no correlation between the fighter selected and the engine of the Tejas MK2...
As usual, wait and see.
Picture ; Saab playing its last card to counter the Rafale in Brazil ? :)