Defense Minister Raul Jungmann attended a public hearing in the Federal Senate on Thursday to discuss ongoing projects and plans for the Armed Forces. The session was chaired by Senator Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and National Defense.
He was accompanied to the event by Commanders of the Navy, Fleet Admiral Eduardo Bacellar Leal Ferreira; and of the Air Force, Lieutenant-Brigadier Nivaldo Luiz Rossato as well as the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Fernando Azevedo e Silva and other authorities.
Regarding strategic defense projects, Jungmann mentioned the Brazilian Air Force's KC-390 freighter being tested by Embraer, whose two prototypes have accumulated 690 flight hours. "We need an allocation of 200 million reals to release the third prototype and ensure certification," Jungmann said, adding that several countries have already shown interest in the plane.
The defense minister also mentioned the Gripen NG, a fighter from the Swedish company SAAB acquired by Brazil under the FX-2 Project. He informed parliamentarians that 150 Brazilian engineers have been in Sweden for more than a year so that the aircraft will begin to be produced in Brazil in the future. "We are not buying technology, we are helping to develop it," he explained.
Raul Jungmann stressed that next week he will travel, together with the Air Force Commander, to France, where he will receive the Geostationary Satellite of Defense and Strategic Communications (SGDC) (Emphasis added—Ed.). "There is no sovereignty, there is no defense, there is no defense industrial base without investment," said the minister.
Senator Aloysio Nunes assured that the requests presented by Jungmann will be studied by the commission. "These are projects of great value that will bear fruit," he said.
After the public hearing, the minister and the commanders of the Armed Forces met with Senate President Renan Calheiros. At the time, three important documents were included for the National Defense segment: the National Defense White Paper, the National Defense Policy and the National Defense Strategy.
Every four years, the legal records of the portfolio are updated and, after approval by the Presidency of the Republic, they arrive at the National Congress for analysis. "The Federal Legislative Branch will not lack the demands of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces. You can fully count on us," he said.