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.
- The story may be dubious because Saab had already selected a Selex radar.
- 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.”
Meanwhile, Indian blogger Saurabh Johsi at StratPost labeled the reported US tactics as “bullying”.