France, Brazil forge military pact
Tue Feb 12, 2008
France is ready to transfer technology to Brazil so that an attack submarine, helicopters and the Rafale fighter plane can be built there, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday.
Sarkozy met with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in Saint-Georges de Oyapock, on the border with Brazil on the second and last day of his trip to France's largest overseas territory.
Sarkozy also said France was willing to transfer technology to allow a French attack submarine and fighter planes to be built in Brazil, but he stopped short of any nuclear technology transfer.
"I said to the Brazilian president that we were ready for the Scorpene submarine to be built in Brazil, that on the question of combat aircraft like helicopters and fighter planes — I'm thinking of the Rafale — to be built in Brazil," the French president said.
The Scorpene class submarine is a conventional attack submarine, but Brazilian officials have said they want the diesel-powered sub to serve as a model for the development of a Brazilian nuclear submarine that would be the first in Latin America.
The Rafale, used by the French Navy and French Air Force, has been a difficult sell, with its first potential foreign sale — 14 to Libya — in negotiations.
Sarkozy said he did not want transfers to be limited to the military domain.
"Our ambition is larger," Sarkozy said. "We want to act together, reflect together, build together." France and Brazil want to work together "in the service of peace."