BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil is pushing ahead with a planned $1 billion purchase of anti-aircraft missile batteries from Russia in a deal that will cement a strategic defence partnership between the two BRICS nations, the Brazilian Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
Brazilian officials said they expect to sign a contract by the middle of 2014 for short- to medium-range surface-to-air Pantsir S1 missile batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles.
Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, on a visit to Peru and Brazil to promote sales of Russian weaponry, also proposed in Brasilia the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter jet, defence officials said.
Brazil’s Air Force has been looking for a decade to buy 36 fourth-generation jets to replace its aging fighter fleet, but Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35 is not currently in the running for the contract worth more than $4 billion.
The selection process is already underway and will not be reopened, Brazilian Defence Minister Celso Amorim said after meeting with Shoigu. Amorim said he hopes President Dilma Rousseff will decide “soon” between Boeing Co.’s F-18 Super Hornet, the Rafale made France’s Dassault Aviation SA and the Gripen offered by Sweden’s Saab AB.
Full article: Brazil builds Russian defence ties with missile plan (swissinfo)