SAAB Gripen wins Brazil fighter jet bid. Boeing Super Hornet victim of NSA scandal?

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has announced that the SAAB Gripen NG fighter jet has been selected for the FX-2 program of the Brazilian Air Force.

The decision to buy 36 Swedish jets has come after 10 years of negotiations and speculations.

Along with the eventual winner, other two contenders took part to the bid: the French Dassault Rafale and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

The Rafale was discarded for its higher cost, causing an angry reaction by Dassault, that in a subsequent press conference said: “We regret the choice has gone in favor of Gripen, an aircraft provided with many items of equipment of 3rd party origin. […] “This financial rationale fails to take into account either Rafale’s cost-effectiveness or the level of technology offered.”

Boeing Super Hornet was considered the favorite until the Snowden scandal brought to light that the NSA (National Security Agency) had been spying on Brazilian companies, agencies, officials and the president herself: in a direct attack on US electronic surveillance at the UN general assembly, Rousseff accused Washington of breaching  international law.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries suddenly worsened and the chances Boeing could win the Brazil’s bid became paltry.

Marcelo R Silva contributed to this post

Image credit: MBDA


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.