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Brazilian Air Force in negotiations with US for used F-16s

Brazil's first Saab Gripen E during flight-testing. Although the Brazilian Air Force planned on purchasing additional Gripens, sources told Janes that insufficient funding has led the service to look elsewhere. (Saab)

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) is negotiating with the US government for the potential purchase of 24 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons, a ranking Brazilian officer told Janes in early June. Although negotiations are at an early stage, the FAB intends to decide quickly, potentially before the end of 2024, the officer said.

In 2014 the FAB ordered 36 Gripens for USD5.4 billion, and was widely expected to purchase a second batch of 36 to equip the 1º Grupo de Defesa Aérea (1º GDA) at Anápolis, which operated Mirage 2000s until 2013, then replace the two groups equipped with F-5EM Tiger IIs, followed by the two groups equipped with AMXs. Although the service was expected to purchase a second batch of Saab Gripen E/Fs, insufficient funding has led the FAB to search for cheaper options to replace its old fighter aircraft, the officer told Janes.

Even as 1º GDA integrates and tests Brazil's first Gripens, the FAB has yet to decide which will be the second unit to receive the remainder of the order; they will likely equip a group that today operates F-5s. The AMX fleet is due to be retired by the end of 2025, and without sufficient Gripens on order to replace them, the FAB is looking at less expensive options.

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