|Brazilian and french pilots discuss after a flight on the Rafale|
First, Cruzex V, which has ended Friday, 19th, has allowed the French Air Force to demonstrate the potential of the Rafale in a large scale, intensive exercice. The first rumors from the debriefing rooms seem to indicate that the french fighter would have been quite convincing in the BVR arena. Besides, several Brasilian pilots had the opportunity to fly and evaluate the Rafale during some training missions (picture on the left).
Several media thought that the FX-2 decision could be revealed at the end of Cruzex, but it has not been the case.
Saturday 20th, Brasilian defense minister Nelson jobim has met the french economy Minister, Christine Lagarde at Rio de Janeiro. During this meeting jobim has stated, once again, that the french offer for the FX-2 contest was the most interesting concerning tranfer of technology.
"We don't buy fighters, but a technological package"
|Nelson Jobim salutes french Rafale pilots during Cruzex V VIP day|
According to him, Lulla and Dilma Rousseff should decide and may reveal their political choice in the next 3 weeks (ie before december, 19th). This announcement will end the FX-2 decision process for good after 2 years of evaluation.
In a last attempt to jeopardize a final decision in favor of Saab or Dassault, Boeing, whose offer is said to be the weakest on the ToT ground, has openly critized the selection process and beg for the opportunity to propose a new offer. But it is unlikly that the US resquest will be accepted at this stage of the contest as the Brazilian defense Ministry simply declined to comment the Boeing's critics.
French Air Force