Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spain angling to sell Brazil frigates with or without US systems

Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Morenés said on 12 March that if Washington were to block the sale of US-made systems used on F-100 class frigates, Spain would push ahead by offering alternative equipment in its attempt to win an order for the ships from Brazil.
Following his meeting with Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim in Brasilia, the Spanish state news agency EFE reported the minister as saying the one obstacle that could emerge would be an objection by Washington.
The use of US-made systems on the original F-100 Alvaro de Bazán-class built for the Spanish Armada, principally Lockheed Martin's Aegis integrated combat system, had not yet been discussed with the United States, he said.
But in the "extreme case" of a ban occurring there would be no problem in incorporating other "similar and sufficiently competitive systems", Morenés added.
Spain's state-owned Navantia shipyards has presented one of seven initial offers to Brazil for a package of 11 warships, including the frigates, that is expected to be worth close to EUR4 billion (USD5.2 billion).
Morenés said the proposed contract is of "enormous interest" to Spain, even though most of the work is scheduled to involve the transfer of technology to Brazilian shipbuilders.

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