Brazil committed to Gripens

2015-10-19 16:59

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Stockholm - Brazil remains committed to purchasing 36 jet fighter aircraft from Swedish defence contractor Saab, despite Brazil's deepening economic woes, the South American country's president said Monday.

"The Gripen project is one of our most important projects," President Dilma Rousseff told reporters in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.

She was referring to the $4.7bn contract Brazil and Saab recently signed to develop and produce the jets.

"It is an ambitious, large-scale project, but it is a project that will not harm our economy," she added.

The deal also comprises industrial and technology cooperation projects.

Brazil needs more technology, innovation and research, and Sweden is a "key partner" for Brazil, she said at a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

Rousseff said that that about 200 Swedish companies that operate in Brazil have about 70 000 employees working in Brazil.

Lofven said the Gripen deal was expected to generate at least 1 000 jobs in Sweden and create other spin-offs in both countries.

The Brazilian president's brief visit to Sweden is set to end later Monday, after she and Lofven visit the city of Linkoping, where the jet fighters are developed.

Brazil and Saab last month agreed on the final details to develop and produce 36 Gripen Next Generation fighter aircraft for the Brazilian air force.

Brazil selected the single-engine Gripen after also considering US firm Boeing's F-18 Super Hornet and Rafale fighter jets made by France's Dassault.

Deliveries are due from 2019 to 2024.

The Gripen system is currently used in Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Thailand.

Rousseff is later on Monday to continue her European journey and travel to neighbouring Finland.

Read more on:    dilma rousseff  |  brazil  |  sweden  |  aviation

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