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Brazil to rebuild its weapons industry

world Updated: Sep 04, 2008 08:32 IST
Brazil to rebuild its weapons industry

Brazil plans to rebuild its once-thriving weapons industry with the help of technology from other countries, a senior official said.

Strategic Affairs Minister Roberto Mangabeira Unger said Brazil's new National Defence Plan, to be announced next week, calls for the establishment of partnerships with countries like Russia and France to build a state-of-the-art weapons industry.

But such partnerships must include the transfer of technology, he said.

"We will not simply be buyers or clients, but partners," Unger told The Associated Press. "Any arrangement into which we will enter must, in principle, contemplate a significant element of research and development in Brazil."

In April, Brazil and Russia signed an agreement to jointly develop jet fighters. The agreement also includes the construction of rockets capable of hurling several kinds of satellites into space.

Earlier this year, France said it would transfer technology to Brazil for construction of the Scorpene attack submarine.

The Scorpene is a conventional diesel-powered attack submarine that Brazilian officials say they want as a model for the development of a nuclear submarine that would be the first in Latin America.

In the mid-1980s, Brazil had the largest defence industry in the developing world and was the world's eighth-largest arms exporter. There was strong demand for Brazilian armoured personnel carriers, reconnaissance and anti-aircraft vehicles, troop carriers and rocket launchers.