Israeli aircraft industries (IAI) is being pressured by the U.S. not to help with the development of the new-gen Saab Gripen which is supposed to be part of India’s consideration for its next fighter jet. Does this kill the Saab for that big competition?
Will there be other fallout? For example, India might not like this which could give more down-select points for the F-16 and F-18 which are part of the competition. What will Israel think? While they get a lot of military aid credits from the United States to the tune of billions per year, will this affect Israel’s purchase of U.S. weapons?
“The stated concern was that Western technology in Israeli hands would make its way to the Indians,” one Israeli official said.
What was strange with the American request was that Boeing and Lockheed Martin – the two largest US defense contractors – are also competing for the Indian deal. For this reason, Israeli officials said it was more likely that the Americans were concerned that if IAI competed for the deal with Saab, it would force the American companies to lower their prices.