Sweden to loan fighter jets to Brazil for 2016 Olympics

Rio de Janeiro, Dec 21: Sweden will loan Brazil several Gripen NG fighter jets, the kind the South American country recently purchased from Swedish firm Saab, in time for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The jets will be loaned to Brazil by the Swedish Air Force, since the 36 purchased aircraft won’t be ready for delivery until 2023, reports Xinhua.

Brazil made the purchase to upgrade its air force fleet of Mirage jets, which are about to be retired.

Brazilian Air Force Brigadier Jose Augusto Crepaldi Affonso, who headed the decision to buy the Swedish jets, over US or French-made ones, said that six to 12 jets will be lent to Brazil in time to bolster security during the summer games.

Asked if the jets will be in Brazil in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, to be hosted by 12 Brazilian cities in June and July, Crepaldi said it was unlikely, as the negotiations on the loan have yet to take place.

“I think the chances are too less, around 20 percent,” said Crepaldi. “But for the Olympic Games, they will certainly be here.”

IANS