Could the words “Brazilian fighter” begin evoking images unrelated to the Gracies? Recent boosts to Brazil’s defense budget could be on its way to accomplishing that and more. The Navy and Army have already received funds to replace broken-down equipment, and new fighters will be a critical centerpiece of the Forca Aerea Brasileira’s 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, the question is whether Brazil will actually place an order, or fold up the competition like the ill-fated 2011 F-X process.
This article covers Brazil’s reborn F-X2 competition, adds its assessment of the competitors’ relative strengths and weaknesses, and covers ongoing events.