(NSI News Source Info) BRASÍLIA, Brazil - September 19, 2009: Sweden has sweetened its bid for a lucrative contract to sell 36 fighter jets to Brazil, promising that 40 percent of the supersonic Gripen aircraft would be built in Brazil, officials said Thursday. Saab 39 Gripen Features ~ In designing the aircraft, several layouts were studied. Saab ultimately selected an unstable canard design. The canard configuration gives a high onset of pitch rate and low drag, enabling the aircraft to be faster, have longer range and carry a larger payload.The combination of delta wing and canards gives the Gripen significantly better takeoff and landing performance and flying characteristics. The totally integrated avionics make it a "programmable" aircraft. It also has a built-in electronic warfare unit, making it possible to load more ordnance onto the aircraft without losing self defence capabilities.The Gripen affords more flexibility than earlier generations of combat aircraft used by Sweden, and its operating costs are about two thirds of those for JA 37 Viggen.In the Swedish Air Force's list of requirements was the ability to operate from 800 m runways. Early on in the programme, all flights from Saab's facility in Linkeping were flown from within a 9 m x 800 m outline painted on the runway. Stopping distance was reduced by extending the relatively large air brakes; using the control surfaces to push the aircraft down, enabling the wheel brakes to apply more force and tilting the canards forwards, making them into large air brakes and further pushing the aircraft down.The Gripen uses the modern PS-05/A pulse-doppler X-band radar, developed by Ericsson and GEC-Marconi, and based on the latter's advanced Blue Vixen radar for the Sea Harrier (which inspired the Eurofighter's CAPTOR radar as well).* The offer came on top of a promise that Brazil would have full access to the technology used in the state-of-the-art military aircraft. A similar offer helped give France front-runner status in high-stakes bidding for the coveted fighter jet contract, valued at four to seven billion dollars. "The Swedish government and the SAAB motor company are 100 percent committed to making the technology transfer," Swedish State Secretary for Defense Hakan Jevrell said at a press conference, accompanied by a Saab representative. "There will be no restriction in the transfer of technology." Jevrell said that in addition to the technology, Sweden would offer Brazil "a very competitive price" for the fighter jets. The sweetener offered by Stockholm is the latest from one of three major aerospace powers -- France, Sweden and the United States -- jostling to win the coveted fighter jet contract, as Brazil seeks to modernize its air force in a bid to become Latin America's preeminent military power. French manufacturer Dassault appears to have a lock on the contract: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week issued a joint statement opening Brazil's official negotiations to buy 36 of Dassault's Rafale jets without, however, ending the tender process. The Swedish offer is in line with requirements laid out by President Lula, who said he wants to secure technology transfers and build the planes in Brazil. Dassault, fielding its high-tech Rafale fighter, had been seen as the leading contender because of its guarantee to share all technology with Brazil. "The air force has the technological know-how to make the evaluation, and it will do so," he added. "But the decision is political and strategic, and it's up to the president of the republic and no one else," Lula said recently. Brazil has set a September 21 deadline for the contenders to finalize their bids.
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