Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Good news on the Brazilian and EAU export front

Rafale + Aircraft carrier, the winning pair in Brazil ?
Alain Juppé, French defense Minister has declared Saturday that he remains confident about a possible Rafale sale to Brazil in the following weeks.

"It is perfectly normal that the new President want to manage this file, the decision should be taken in the next weeks. I think that we can be confident. But I don't want to announce things before they are decided"

He also pointed out that after the submarines contract, Brazil and France have engaged discussions about surface vessels :

"This Rafale sale is part of considerable strategic cooperation between France and Brazil. They bought us Submarines and Helicopters. We are now working on the surface fleet. The Rafale is only one of the aspects of a very important relationship at the strategic and industrial levels"

The new DCNS aircraft carrier might interest Brazil ©Xav
At first glance it could be a request for information about frigates (probably FREMM) but some sources talk about much larger ships such as a BPC (4 of which have just been sold to Russia) or even an aircraft carrier.
Indeed, Brazil needs to modernize her surface fleet urgently since giant oil fields have been discovered off the cost of Rio de Janeiro. The country already operates the aircraft carrier Sao-Paulo (Ex French Foch) but the ship is 50 years old and will soon need to be complemented or replaced (despite her recent retrofit and modernization). In this context, the new DCNS aircraft carrier design revealed at Euronaval 2010, might not have been intended to the French Navy as we first thought but to Brazil !
If this hypothesis proves to be true, the probability for the Rafale C/B and therefore the Rafale M to be exported to Brazil is higher and higher.

Meanwhile, negociations with the EAU seems to have resumed in a better mood than during the last summer when the crown Prince, upseted by an article published in Le Figaro (Own by Dassault) had decided to stop all talks with Paris. His recent meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy is said to have settled many issues.

Sources :

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