Brazil Highlights U.S. Tech Transfer Concerns

The Brazilian fighter competition is proving how hard it is for the U.S. to make the case it will support technology transfer demands posed by potential buyers of U.S. equipment.

Brazil has been asking for extensive technology transfer as it considers buying the Dassault Rafale, Saab Gripen or Boeing F/A-18E/F. Early in the competition, the knock on the U.S. campaign was that Washington wouldn’t let enough technology transfer take place to satisfy the Brazilian government. However, U.S. officials say that eventually changed, and that the U.S. put together an extensive tech transfer package.

But in Brazil there are apparently still questions about the U.S. technology release approach, as this article highlights. If Brazilian defense minister Nelson Jobim really doesn’t have confidence in the U.S. committment, then that’s bad news for Boeing, regardless of what promises may have been made when the aircraft maker, along with its rivals, submitted final bids last month.

Washington should get an answer soon, with Brazil promising to announce by year-end the winner of its muddled fighter competition — with President Lula having first announced Rafale had won, only for the military to say the competition was still open.

If Boeing can’t win, the Pentagon may want to undertake the kind of after action France undertook after Rafale failed repeatedly to secure export orders.

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