Read Norway's official statement here.By Craig Hoyle
Norway has rejected an offer to acquire Saab's Gripen NG combat aircraft, with its government instead recommending that the nation maintain its commitment to purchase Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as a replacement for its Lockheed F-16 fleet.
Oslo's announcement states: "The JSF is the only candidate that fulfils all the operational requirements specified by the Norwegian government and is furthermore offered at a lower price than the Gripen NG."
[UPDATE: By the way Norway's statement explains that the F-35 is superior to the Gripen in the following categories: intelligence and surveillance, counter air, air interdiction and anti-surface warfare. The debate continues ...]
Saab's response is on the jump.
to negotiate with Saab's competitor Norway
The Norwegian Defense Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen today announced that the Norwegian Government recommends to negotiate with a to Saab competing company.
"I'm disappointed and surprised about the Norwegian Governments decision, because Gripen fulfills all the operational requirements, to a fixed and known price. In addition to this, we have offered a wide and strong industrial cooperation package," says Saab CEO Åke Svensson.
"Gripen is a very competitive combat aircraft on the international market and we will now continue to focus on all the other countries were procurement processes are ongoing and Gripen is an alternative," says Svensson.
The Norwegian Government's procurement of new fighters to replace the current
F-16 fleet was initiated in 2005. During the last months two offers have been compared, one for the American Joint Strike Fighter and one for Gripen.
Fighter procurement processes where Saab is involved
• Switzerland: Proposal handed in, July 2008
• The Netherlands: Saab invited to participate in the procurement process, August 2008
• Brazil: Gripen chosen as one of three candidates, October 2008
• Denmark: Binding proposal handed in, November 2007
• India: Binding proposal handed in, April 2008
Romania: Binding proposal handed in, 2008
Bulgaria: A proposal is being prepared
Croatia: A proposal is being prepared
Countries who have chosen Gripen