Tensions between Brazil and Israel could affect the FAB39s supply

Tensions between Brazil and Israel could affect the FAB's supply of fighter aircraft

Gripens, acquired by Swedish company Saab in 2014, use Israeli technology; In 2023, Netanyahu stopped direct shipments from Colombia

The diplomatic tensions between Brazil and Israel after President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) spoke about the country's actions in the Gaza Strip could affect the acquisition of Gripen fighter jets by the FAB (Brazilian Air Force), according to the specialist portal AeroIn .

In an agreement reached in 2014, Swedish automaker Saab will deliver 36 fighter jets to the FAB by 2027, considered one of the company's largest projects. The planes use parts made with Israeli technology.

AEL Sistemas, a subsidiary of Israel's Elbit Systems, produces the display for the Swedish Gripen fighter used by the FAB. The subsidiary also produces electronics equipment for the Embraer KC390 freighter, mission computers, and selfprotection and countermeasures systems. In addition, 25% of AEL Sistemas' share capital belongs to Embraer.

According to Aeroin, Brazil is at risk of running out of fighters, as was the case with Colombia. In October 2023, Israel cut defense exports to Colombia after President Gustavo Petro criticized Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip.

The Colombian army used aircraft, drones and weapons manufactured directly by Israeli companies. Are they:

  • AH60L helicopter missiles manufactured by Elbit;
  • electronic warfare and selfprotection systems from Elbit;
  • Hermes drones manufactured by Elbit;
  • Fleet of M462 Abir vehicles, Tavor and Falil rifles, Atmos cannons of Israeli origin;
  • Communication and messaging devices.

Unlike Swedish fighter jets, which use Israeli technology, Colombia had direct supply agreements with Israel.


President Lula said the conflict in Gaza was a genocide comparable to the extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany.

“What is happening to the Palestinian people in Gaza does not exist at any other time in history. In fact, it existed when Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” Lula told reporters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, on Sunday (Feb 18).

The settlement sparked a diplomatic crisis with Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the speech was “shameful” and that Lula had “crossed a red line.”

In Brazil, the PT member was criticized by Israeli organizations and opponents. In Congress, federal representatives signed a motion to impeach the president. The government's supporters rejected the request and defended Lula.

The PT member’s speech made him “persona non grata” in Israel. The country is demanding a withdrawal from Brazil.


The contract with Saab also includes the transfer of Israeli technology to Brazil as part of a 10year training program. The manufacturer's main partner in the project is the Brazilian Embraer.


The fighter is equipped with radars for identifying enemy aircraft, antennas for jamming the equipment of other aircraft, laser position warnings and missile approaches, and identification of radars on the ground or at sea. Hunters are programmed to receive upgrades throughout their lifespan.


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