Rapid Fire 2011-09-09: Scrambling for Budget

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* Bulgaria is looking for 8-12 new fighters, and the USA has a financing offer for its F-16s. Other contenders include the JAS-39 Gripen leased by Bulgaria’s neighbors, EADS’ Eurofighter, and even a Russian offer to sell NATO-interoperable MiG-29s (something the Israelis also offer). Bulgaria just signed a MiG-29 repair contract with RAC MiG, but the country has had financial issues with past weapon buys, and the government is in no hurry to buy new fighters. * British forces are beginning to use Raytheon-BBN’s Boomerang III acoustic sniper detectors in Afghanistan. * Brazil’s Embraer, and Elbit Systems’ local AEL subsidiary, enter a 51%/49% joint venture. Harpia Sistemas S.A. will focus on UAVs like Elbit’s Heron 450, along the lines of a previous agreement. It will also handle simulators and avionics modernization, where AEL has carved out a strong Brazilian niche. * Dassault’s Brazilian presentation lists the UAE as a country flying twin-engine fighters. Just one thing: that isn’t true yet, unless they order Dassault’s Rafale (or the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet) to replace their single-engine Mirage 2000-9s. Dassault had a team in the UAE trying to close the Rafale deal last weekend (Les Echos, in French). * WABEP (Wirksystem zur abstandsfähigen […]

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