U.S. Knocks Gripen out of India Comp. via Israel


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.


23 thoughts on “U.S. Knocks Gripen out of India Comp. via Israel

  1. American [short-sighted] foul-playing at work, again. Had it succeed, the US would LOSE even more creditability among foreign developers and potential buyers.

    India would have even less product autonomy and face even more potential restriction throughout the duration of the jet fighters’ lifespan had it chose the 100% US products, namely the F16 & F/A18.

    Note: India has been using IAI-developed defense products (from missiles to AWACS) for quite some time.

  2. A couple of points:

    1. Would the transfer of American technology to India occur to any greater degree with IAI helping with the Gripen vs. with Boeing or LM selling 4.5 generation F-16’s/F-18’s in the contest?

    2. What does this ultimately tell India about dealing with the US considering the huge amount of technology that the Russians shared in the past with the development of the SU-30MKI?

    The Gripen NG certainly is one of the top favorites in this contest and in several ways is superior to the American fighters involved. This continues the heavy handed approach that has developed since the Obama Administration has come to power when dealing with Israel, and it does not bode well for future relations with the Jewish state and continued arms sales.

  3. This is most likely US State Department’s under-the-table favour on behave of the ever-present monkeys (lobbyists) on its shoulders. In short, it’s the US military-industry complex (MIC) at work – Cold War mentality dies hard. It has nothing to do with Obama.

    Swedes survive with or without US for decades – surely the Gripen Team will survive this made-in-US bullshit.

  4. On a positive note:

    It’s great to see the Gripen Team trying to decrease the percentage of US content in Gripen NG. Israeli excels in avionics, EW and weaponry/ordinance R&D – these are probably the areas Saab wants to co-develop with IAI on Gripen.

  5. When the US tried to do this with South Africa with the Gripen, the South African response was to decertify all US defense contractors, and the US backed down.

  6. Superior or inferior, suitable or unsuitable to meet one’s military and industrial requirements – that’s up to the potential buyer to evaluate and decide.

    The point here is US government’s foul-play on behave of American bidders/contractors.

  7. Uh the Indian government is a direct economic competitor to the US. Any industrial offsets will give them the opportunity to play “Soviet Union” and reverse engineer the components unless they’re allowed to manufacture them in their own country speeding the development of their aerospace industry. Many American’s believe that its high time the AMERICAN aerospace industry was protected from itself. As far as Israel is concerned, they have used US tech to make a profit at the detriment of US interests. LAVI and J-10 anyone?

  8. Transfer of technology (ToT) and industry offset agreement are among the first and foremost requirements of MRCA competition, Sol.

  9. Solomon:

    The Gripen NG is superior in several ways:

    1. Its able to supercruise with a full load of ordinance vs. the F-16/F-18.

    2. The Saab/Swedish tactical data link in the Gripen is superior to the systems offered US aircraft in the MRCA competition. The Swedes have used this datalink to develop interesting tactics that have been proven to be highly effective in recent Red Flag exercises that Gripens have participated in.

    3. The Gripen avionics are optimized to work with all NATO weapons. This means that the Gripen can fire the Meteor missile which will enter service in 2013. The Meteor is superior to the AMRAAM in that can receive targeting data in mid-flight not only to from the launching fighter, but from others friendly aircraft in the area. The Meteor also has better kinematics due to its ram jet engine. Since the Meteor was designed specifically to kill the SU-27-30/J-11 which the Indian Air Force is facing on its border with China, the ability to use this missile is an added bonus.

  10. Solomon:

    Your reference to the now dead Lavi program is not accurate. It was Israel that lost their shirt in that deal, not the US which killed the program so that we could sell them US built fighters. The Chinese J-10 while similar in many ways to the Lavi, is really almost completely indigenous. The only outside technologies in the J-10 are the Russian engines.

  11. Buncha stinkin’ cry babies in this topic. You people do realize that competitions are not won are techincal merit but on the amount of offsets you provide?

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  13. Hope that you can read, Anonymous.

    Tell us something we don’t already know.

  14. Bollocks. There have never been any proposed Swedish-Israeli cooperation regarding Gripen.

    1. It’s a political impossibility. Arms deals with Israel are prohibited.

    2. IAI isn’t considered a top player in the new AESA radars. Saab Ericsson Radar has devloped AESA radars since 15 years and when they looked for partners they chose between Thales of France and Selex of Italy.

  15. India should not purchased any weapons from United States. If India do buy a weapons from U.S, and in case if india carry out any other test like nuclear or a ICBM test, U.S will put a sanctioned on India on the parts and transfer of technology. India should take appropriate steps in buying those aircraft which should affect our security of our country. U.S will try to act as a virus to enter into India by tempting to give some advanced technology, but India should beware of it.

  16. India should buy stuff either from Russia or the Europeans. Americans have a very bad habit of imposing sanctions whenever they see fit. India should develop trade with the US but the military trade should be done with Russia or the Europeans. It wont do India any good to run out of spares in midst of a conflict.

  17. It all comes down to a fundamental question: When a foreign gov spends billions $ purchasing a fleet a fighter jets from the U.S., who actually ‘owns’ it in terms of deploying it as you see fit & upgrade it as it needs?

    [Historically,] Americans say: I DO.

  18. American’s FMS (foreign military sale) is a paralleled version of Apple’s propitiatory practice.

  19. Gripen NG is gr8….. maybe IAF should go in for 200 of those intially …..

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