Apr. 10, 2013 - By ANDREW CHUTER – Defense News
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — AEL-built avionics will be installed in the Brazilian version of the Gripen NG if the fast jet secures a deal to supply the Brazilian Air Force with a new fighter Saab, executives said Tuesday at the LAAD defense and security conference here.
Eddy de la Motta, the man leading Saab’s Gripen export drive, said AEL had been selected to supply displays, computers and other items in the event that the latest version of the Swedish fast jet wins the long-running FX-2 program.
The program to buy 36 fighters has been stalled by Brazilian economic developments, technology transfer and other issues.
The Gripen is in a three-way battle with Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale for the deal.
La Motta said the inclusion of AEL avionics would create a separate standard of the under-development NG version of the aircraft already ordered by Sweden.
Switzerland has also selected the Gripen NG, but the purchase is subject to ratification by an upcoming referendum of voters there.
AEL is majority owned by Elbit of Israel. Embraer also has a 25 percent stake in a company, which has been heavily involved in providing avionics for recent Brazilian Air Force combat jet updates.
The Swedish executive took the opportunity during a briefing at LAAD to reiterate a financial offer on the FX-2 program that would allow the Brazilian government to not pay for the aircraft until the last machine had been delivered.
The payback period would run for 15 years after that, said the Saab executive.
In a separate development, Saab announced it had done a partnering deal with local Brazilian company Force Delta Equipamentos Militares for the part manufacture of multi-spectral camouflage for signature management.