As Brazil started boosting its defense budgets in past years, its Navy and Army received funds to replace broken-down equipment, while new fighters will be a critical centerpiece of the Forca Aerea Brasileira’s (FAB) efforts.
Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, France’s Dassault’s Rafale, Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen NG were picked as finalists. But after repeated stalling, for years the question was whether Brazil would actually place an order, or fold up the competition like the ill-fated 2011 F-X process. At the end of 2013, Brazil unexpectedly picked the Swedish offer, thanks to its offsets, price, and lack of diplomatic baggage. An initial contract is now in place, and this Spotlight article takes you through the competition, choices, and ongoing developments in a country that seems likely to become the world’s largest Gripen fleet.