SAO PAULO - French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Dec. 14 he was confident of selling Rafale fighter jets to Brazil and could beat off rival bids because the aircraft's technology cannot be matched.
The Rafale is competing against Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet and Saab's Gripen for a tender from Brazil to supply 36 multi-role combat aircraft.
The French premier begins a three-day visit to Brazil on Dec. 15."We are confident because we believe that the French offer has the best possible transfer of technology, without equivalent," Fillon said in an interview published with local media.
French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet was quoted earlier this month in Le Monde as saying that unless the Rafale can find a foreign buyer, the government will have to stop funding its production by Dassault Aviation.
The Rafale was used in the recent war in Libya but the fighter has repeatedly lost out in tenders in countries including Singapore, South Korea, Morocco and, earlier this month, Switzerland.