Analyst: US loses in IAI-Gripen radar story

I had two things to say in my blog post this morning about the news that US officials reportedly pressured Israeli Aircraft Industries to withdraw a radar from the Saab Gripen team’s proposal to India.

  1. The story may be dubious because Saab had already selected a Selex radar.
  2. It could also be irrelevant because the French probably did the same thing.

But other analysts and bloggers have come to different conclusions.

Michel Merluzeau, of G2 Global Solutions, first writes that the Israeli radar, in fact, would have been very attractive to Saab despite already signing Selex as a partner. Second, Merluzeau says the US anti-competitive strategy is likely to backfire.

“It would provide ammo to those in the Indian military andpolitical classes that the US would not hesitate to apply pressure onIndia in terms of how the country’s air force may be able to use ormodify MMRCA in the future.  This is an issue that MiG, Dassault andEurofighter will undoubtedly exploit in order to spread further doubtsas to the reliability of the US as a key supplier/partner; whether ornot this argument holds ground is perhaps secondary at this point sincesome level of damage might already have been done, especially withIndian politicians.  Dassault’s Rafale could suddenly be looking likethe favorite.”

Similarly, Eric Palmer writes at ELP Defens(c)e blog that “India might not like this”, perhaps hurting the F-16′s and F/A-18′s points in the down-select decision.

Meanwhile, Indian blogger Saurabh Johsi at StratPost labeled the reported US tactics as “bullying”.


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2 Responses to Analyst: US loses in IAI-Gripen radar story

  1. SgtDad 7 July, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    Just how credible would the French or Euro people be? My recollection is that the British ran in to trouble in the Gulf War because spares were made in Germany. Germany would not ship the spares because the UK was in a war zone. The French, of course, withheld all sorts of paid-for equipment from Israel when they wanted to. Why would they not do the same to India when Indian policy conflicted with theirs?

  2. Royce 7 July, 2009 at 1:41 am #

    This issue has been apparent from the beginning of the MMRCA program. It’s always been clear that if India selects a U.S. system, it is going to do so with the knowledge that the aircraft come with certain restrictions on future behavior by the Indian government. The Indians don’t need IAI to tell them that. They must know that simply by looking next door to Pakistan and the embargoed F-16s. Or the sanctions the U.S. placed on India over nuclear tests years ago. What’s more, Defense News reported back in February that Indians had concerns over restrictions placed on C-130 and P-8s,but it seemed like both sides wanted to negotiate through the issue.

    India is showing all the signs of wanting to get closer to the U.S. defense community, but nobody should be under the illusion that they’re not mindful of what they’re doing or are incapable of negotiating a deal they can live with. There may be conflict within the Indian defense community over just how close the relationship should be, however.

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