MOSCOW: Russia may allow Brazil to produce its fifth-generation fighters under a license in the future, a senior Russian government official said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
“We are discussing with the well-known Brazilian company Embraer the transfer of technology and the construction of facilities for the future licensed production of the aircraft, including the fifth-generation fighter,” said Alexander Fomin, deputy director of the Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation.
Russia’s advanced multirole fighter is being developed by the Sukhoi aircraft maker, part of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), along with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), under a preliminary intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2007.
The first prototype is scheduled to make its maiden flight before the end of 2009.
Last November, Russia and Brazil signed a series of agreements on military technology cooperation which emphasize the protection of intellectual property rights and technology secrets.
The agreements will facilitate the transfer of technology and the licensed production of the Russian aircraft in Brazil if Moscow decides to sign a contract with the South American country.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Su-35 jet fighter is participating in an ongoing tender for the delivery of over 100 fighters to the Brazilian Air Force.
“We are actively participating in the Brazilian tender, which has been reopened. It involves over 100 fighter planes. Russia has made a bid in the tender with its Su-35 multirole fighter. The tender has stiff requirements, involving not only the sale, but also the transfer of technology. It is a key condition of the deal and Russia is ready to satisfy it,” Fomin said.
Brazil wants a multirole fighter to protect its national airspace as well as to keep track of smugglers in the Amazon basin and guard the country’s offshore oil rigs. However, it also wants the multi-billion dollar contract to reenergize the domestic defense industry through home-grown production and as much technology transfer as can be afforded.