Germany's economic ministry has questioned a defence ministry plan to buy U.S. transport planes, proposing instead the purchase of a Brazilian aircraft that could trigger orders for German firms.
A state secretary in Germany's economic ministry, Brigitte Zypries, told lawmakers in a letter that she had made the suggestion to her counterpart at the defence ministry after a visit to an Embraer facility in Brazil.
Zypries said Embraer presented its own KC-390 transport aircraft as a "very convincing" alternative to the purchase of Lockheed Martin Corp C-130J transport planes proposed by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, according to a copy of the letter viewed by Reuters.
Von der Leyen last month said Germany was looking at buying 4-6 of the Lockheed planes and operating them jointly with France, as a complement to a fleet of A400M transporters built by Airbus.
It was not immediately clear whether the suggestion would prompt a review by the defence ministry, which has played up the benefits of sharing a fleet of transport planes with France as part of a broader push to increase European defence cooperation.
A spokesman for the defence ministry confirmed it had received the letter, but declined comment on its substance. (end of excerpt)
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