French, Brazilian defense ministers discuss planes

Nov 5, 2012, 9:10 PM

Brasilia, Brazil (AP) – French Defense Minister Jean Yves Le Drian arrived in Brazil on Monday to promote the sale of Rafale jet fighters to the South American nation.

Brazil wants to modernize its air force with 36 new aircraft, but has delayed a decision on the deal that could be worth as much as $7 billion.

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.

Le Drian met Monday with his counterpart Celso Amorim on his first visit to Brazil since the inauguration of French President Francois Hollande.

The ministers discussed cooperation in the construction of five submarines, including one nuclear-powered, as well as the production of 50 helicopters and other military equipment.

They confirmed they discussed the possible sale of the Rafale jets, but indicated no deal was reached.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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French, Brazilian defense ministers discuss planes