WITH THE Brazilian Air Force F-X2 fighter program facing more delays, officials have travelled to the United States to look at the possible acquisition of a batch of Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcons. F-X2 is earmarked to replace the Mirage 2000 and F-5s but continuous postponements means no conclusion to selecting a successor is likely in the forseeable future.
According to several inside sources, the Brazilian Air Force is negotiating the purchase of a batch of aircraft, likely to be Block 40 or 42s. Brazilian pilots evaluated the F-16s during their recent visit to the United States.
The F-16s are likely to come direct from the USAF’s current inventory rather than the AMARG storage facility at Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona. A successor is desperately needed for the Mirage 2000, being retired on December 31, 2013.. Rafale, Gripen NG, Eurofighter and Super Hornet are all as contenders in the multi-million dollar F-X2 contract, but with a population regularly demonstrating against big money expenditures, like the World Cup rather than socio-economical needs, it is unlikely to happen for a while.
One of the main reasons, the Block 40/42 F-16s are being considered is because being operational they could be delivered immediately.
This purchase could also see the transfer of three USAF KC-135Rs that could refuel the F-16s, and also replace the retired Boeing KC-137s. Santiago Rivas