SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s Embraer is announcing plans on Tuesday for Boeing Co 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.
The new weapons system will offer longer-range “smart” bombs guided by laser and GPS, Embraer said. The company will provide details of the new system, first reported in the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper, at the Farnborough Airshow later in the day.
With the Boeing weapons system on its Super Tucano fighter, Embraer aims to bolster its bid for a $355 million Air Force contract. The contract is for 20 light air support planes for the Afghan military’s counterinsurgency missions.
Embraer and privately held partner Sierra Nevada won the contract in a prior round of bidding that the Air Force scrapped earlier this year after a lawsuit by rival Hawker Beechcraft.
An Embraer spokesman said the company’s latest bid last month [ID:nL1E8G8FSO] included the Boeing weapons system.
Boeing’s new role as subcontractor on the Super Tucano reinforces growing ties between the U.S. and Brazilian aerospace and defense industries.
The companies announced in June that they would collaborate on some aspects of developing Embraer’s KC-390 military transport and refueling jet.
Boeing has also been working for years to land a Brazilian jet fighter contract, worth an initial $4 billion, for its F-18 Super Hornet.
Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn