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Rafale in Pole Position in Brazil

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This race is probably the most promising for Rafale, despite formidable opponents, F-18E and Gripen, it looks to us that this is most definitely Rafale’s to lose. Brazilian president Lula’s comments (“I am very interested in this aircraft”) during his meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy underscore the strength of Rafale’s competitive position while Dassault’s chosen partner, Embraer is key to any contract going to the Brazilian military.

Will we see a different defense policy from the incoming US Administration towards Brazil? Doubtful. It is also unlikely that Brazil truly would find Washington to be a reliable defense partner in Brasilia’s own terms. The Indian “syndrome”, namely the US embargo on defense articles following the 1998 nuclear testing has left scars with many emerging powers; not only in terms of what it means as far as doing business with Washington, but especially how it led many to become increasingly reluctant to associate their national defense with US interests & conditions.

Markets considered safe in the past such as Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and even Japan have already or are at risk of turning away from US products in favor of European or Domestic solutions. The ball is clearly with the US government; it needs to adapt, listen and accept more of our allies’ demands rather than impose them, otherwise the addressable market for US companies will continue to shrink. Singapore and South Korea were abnormal contracts by any commercial definitions, these types of wins will become rare in the future

G2 Solutions @ December 23, 2008

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