Saab still hopes for Brazil jet deal


Swedish defence and aerospace group Saab’s chief executive said Brazil may decide this year who wins a multi-billion dollar air force jet tender and Saab has a good chance.

Saab, which earlier reported upbeat fourth-quarter earnings that sent its shares 5 percent higher, is competing against French group Dassault and US planemaker Boeing for the Brazil deal, Reuters reports.

Brazil’s new president, Dilma Rousseff, has, according to sources, decided to reevaluate the bids after her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, had repeatedly expressed his preference for Dassault, Reuters reports.
“Mrs President has said that she is reshaping, looking into the activities in the past but also going forward. We still believe that we have a really good chance. But the competition is tight,” Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe told a conference call.

The Brazilian contract will likely be worth much more than the initial bids, which have been reported by Brazilian media in a US$4-US$6 billion range. Maintenance contracts will be lucrative, and Brazil could eventually buy more than 100 aircraft.