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Brazil May Face Jet Fighter Shortage on Lula Delay, Folha Says

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Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil may face a shortage of jet fighters to defend the country’s capital after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva left to President-elect Dilma Rousseff the decision to purchase new planes, Folha de S.Paulo reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

Brazil will need to retire by 2014 a total of 12 Mirage-2000s currently dedicated to the defense of Brasilia and based in Anapolis, Goias state, Folha said. The nation may have to rely on upgraded versions of 1970’s-vintage Northrop F-5 jet fighters for the task, the newspaper reported.

Rousseff may decide next month whether to purchase 36 Rafale jet fighters from Dassault Aviation SA over Boeing Co.’s F/A-18 and Saab AB’s Gripen, and the new planes will probably not be ready to fly until 2015, the newspaper reported. The deal could cost more than 10 billion reais ($5.9 billion), the newspaper said.

Rousseff takes office Jan. 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Iuri Dantas in Brasilia at idantas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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