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Brazil, Russia to sign $1bn defence deal
October 17, 2013, 8:52 am


Brazil’s Defense Minister Celso Amorim (left) and Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Brasilia [AP]

Brazil is in the final stages of signing a $1 billion anti-aircraft missile batteries deal with Russia that will strengthen the BRICS partnership between the two nations, according to a statement by the Brazilian Defence Ministry on Wednesday.

Brazilian Defence Minister Celso Amorim said defence cooperation between the two BRICS members could “counterbalance” other options, in a reference to Brazil’s traditional arms suppliers such as the United States.

A Russian military delegation led by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is currently on a four-day trip to Brazil and Peru to promote the sales of Russian weaponry to the two countries.

Brazil and Russia are also looking at the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter jet.

“We are very interested in discussing projects relating to fifth generation (combat) aircraft with new partners,” Amorim said after talks with Shoigu.

“More than buying military equipment, what we are seeking with Russia is a strategic partnership based on the joint development of technology,” Amorim added.

Meanwhile, Russia is planning to deliver the remaining Mi-35M Hind-E attack helicopters to Brazil under a 2008 contract in the next few months, a senior government official said on Thursday.

Russia has so far supplied nine out of 12 helicopters to the Latin American country under the deal worth $150 million.

“We are testing the last, fourth, batch of these helicopters,” said Alexander Fomin, Head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC).

“Depending on the duration of the acceptance trials, the deliveries will be completed either by the end of this year or in the beginning of next year,” added Fomin, who is accompanying Shoigu on the current Latin American tour.

The Mi-35M is an export version of the Mi-24 Hind that was used extensively in the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

The Mi-24/35 is considered unique among dedicated attack helicopters as it can carry troops, in addition to performing its attack role.

The Sao Paulo-based newspaper Valor Economico previously reported that the helicopters would be used in the Amazon region, in conjunction with Brazil’s Embraer land and ground surveillance jets.

A Defence Ministry statement also said Brazil would like to partner with Russia in cyber-defence as the nation is boosting up internet security after reports of massive electronic surveillance by the US and its allies surfaced recently.

Brazil on Monday announced it would shield government communication from surveillance by the United States and other intelligence agencies by setting up a secure email system next month.

“This is the first measure towards expanding privacy and inviolability of official communication,” tweeted Brazilian President Rousseff on Monday.

 Source: Agencies