Boeing sweetens Brazil fighter jet offer -report

SAO PAULO, July 14 Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:59pm EDT

SAO PAULO, July 14 (Reuters) - U.S. aerospace company Boeing Co has offered to transfer more technology to Brazil if the government upgraded its Air Force fighter fleet with the firm's F-18 Super Hornet jet, a local paper reported on Saturday.

Boeing vice president of the F/A-18 program, Mike Gibbons, said his company would offer Brazilian "companies the opportunity to construct components for the new Super Hornets and other future projects of Boeing," according to O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper.

He did not go into detail about the expanded technology deal Boeing was offering, if the government chooses to award the American company Latin America's most coveted multi-billion-dollar defense contract.

In February, government sources told Reuters that Brazil was very likely to award the contract to France's Dassault for its Rafale fighter. Dassault is offering unrestricted technology sharing to win the contract.

But since 2011, Boeing has been tipping the scales back in its favor by expanding its business ties with Brazil.

In June, Boeing and Brazilian aerospace designer Embraer said they would collaborate on some aspects of developing Embraer's KC-390 military transport and refueling jet, tightening relations between the two countries' defense industries.

And on July 10, Embraer announced plans for Boeing to supply a new weapons system for its light attack fighter, strengthening its offer in a fiercely contested bid for a U.S. Air Force contract in Afghanistan.

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