Pushing the Rafale jet fighter in Brazil
Earlier in November, the French defense Minister went to Brazil to push the sale of the Rafale jet fighters to Brazil, but also to the South American countries. There have been past discussions that Brazil may wish to purchase the Rafale as its air force needs modernization with at least 36 new jet fighters. At first the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the sale of these aircrafts but the decision has been put on hold as the cost is 7 billion dollars. Dassault of France, which manufactures the Rafale jets, is competing against Boeing of the United States and Saab of Sweden to sell new aircraft to Brazil. The big question is can the Rafale fight commercially against the cheaper Gripen, and the more sophisticated F-22 or F-35 ? New generations of fighter jets have pushed the markets in different directions and increased gaps between aircrafts, but also between the requirements and perceptions of the markets. The fifth generation jet fighters are therefore top of the range, very expensive, but have a limited market due to these astronomical costs. Therefore, depending on a given budget, the plane offering more gets the deal. And unfortunately for the French, the F-35 is better placed at this game. Older jet fighters are cheaper, and therefore the market tends to be wider, but competition can also be fierce especially as the US have superior fighters which can now be sold at lower prices, therefore gaining market share as well. Selling jet fighters is not an easy task, and plane makers need to think about technology and developments to further improve the tactical and strategic advantage for the homeland, but they should also think about positioning their offers in a more competitive market, more than ever, as countries tend to get limited budgets. These days, the best aircraft in the world risks not selling simply if it is too expensive.