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India rejects Saab Gripen fighter bid

AFP/The Local · 28 Apr 2011, 10:01

Published: 28 Apr 2011 10:01 GMT+02:00

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"Today defence and security company Saab AB has received information from the Indian ministry of defence that Gripen has not been shortlisted for the Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) programme," the company said in a statement.

India is planning to replace its fleet of 26 ageing MiG 21 Soviet-era jets to the tune of some €11 billion ($16 billion).

Other than Saab, it is also considering France's Dassault, Russia's MiG, America's Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Europe's EADS, Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica as possible suppliers.

"We have received this decision and will closely monitor the future process and provide additional information if requested by the Indian ministry of defence," SAAB chief executive officer Håkan Buskhe said.

He insisted the Gripen was a world class fighter, and that India was being offered a "very competitive price".

The Gripen is already in service in the air forces of Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa and Thailand, the company said.

Story continues below…

The jet was first deployed operationally in the current NATO strikes on targets aligned to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:44 April 28, 2011 by HYBRED
I guess India needed planes that run on curry paste instead of Jet A1.
11:55 April 28, 2011 by Hindustani786
Hybred, U looks like an australian.

Yeah we needed far better than that , who could jump like kaNgarOOs like you do.

India and Pakistan doesn't need any weapons. what we need is technology, R & D department, corruption less government and the most is best citizens.

Its enough to be in the list of Nuclear powered nation. one trigger is enough for an enemy.
12:02 April 28, 2011 by Rick Methven
SAAB has been there before with the Viggen.

First you have to offer a 75% offset and then a few billion in 'sweetners'

If they had paid the price to get the contract it would have ended up in a BIG loss to SAAB
12:36 April 28, 2011 by LeoKinmann
it's SAAB's fault for not being competitive enough. A business is a business is a business. Especially when it comes to selling war machines, there is no higher moral ground. Only the lowest bidder wins.
13:17 April 28, 2011 by eddie123
well, the gripen has never been used in combat. it is therefore difficult to assess its performance, range and maintenance. given that sweden rarely does to war, it is senseless for saab to be building fighter jets. give it up. the gripen costs a lot and the fact that norway disparaged it a couple of years ago leaves much to be desired.
13:29 April 28, 2011 by aveminus
There are lots of mistake in the article. India has some 200 Mig-21 and not 26 :) . Which is already being replaced by some 272 Sukhoi Su-30s. The contract which Saab lost is for a replacement of Mig-23s. And the order is for 200 planes :) Which is a very big number.

Gripen is indeed a very good plane and one of the cheapest ($48 million dollar a piece) in the competition. But then it falls in a category which India is already manufacturing on its own.

The problem with Gripen is that it 1/3 of the aircraft components are US supplied. You know how US tries to bully all countries by using ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations), which controls sale of US technology to other countries. When you want to buy 200 planes you don't want something like that :)

One the brighter side even the US planes like F-16 and F18 got rejected :D B'cos they already sold F-16s to Pakistan and they cannot commit that they wont sell F-18s to Pakistan. Also US is and unreliable ally. The Russian MiG-35 got rejected b'cos India already has a lot of Russian planes :) But India did not want to disappoint its long time ally Russia. So they are jointly making the 5th Generation fighter plane Sukhoi PAK FA. And India and Russia will get 500 each :)

Only Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon got shortlisted. Which is among the most expensive in the competition(around $100 million a piece) . Rafale does not fall under ITAR so no US control on the sale and transfer of technology. And Eurofighter wants to make India a 5th partner (Germany, Spain, UK and Italy being the others).

When you have unstable countries like Pakistan and China as your neighbors, you need more than just weapons. This is more of a strategic long term alliance and not just a mere weapons deal :) Sorry to say but Sweden does not have much to offer, even though the Gripens are amazing piece of flying machines :)

BTW I love Swedish meatballs :)
13:55 April 28, 2011 by Zeffanyx
aveminus, you are great!
14:30 April 28, 2011 by dodu
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:04 April 28, 2011 by darky
@Aveminus, Good analysis !
15:26 April 28, 2011 by swedejane
Hmm..so Sweden builds cars that nobody wants to buy and jet fighters nobody wants to buy. What's next? Cheap furniture nobody wants to buy?
16:00 April 28, 2011 by Rick Methven

you obviously have no idea of aircraft sales, especially to countries like India. The lowest bid is NOT the deciding factor but a whole package including the offset and keeping the politicians happy. I have spent 35 years selling aircraft including 15 in India.
16:07 April 28, 2011 by muscle
India Pakistan and China, need to cut their defense funding. The competition is irked by other global players, as these three nations are big markets.

If DK and Sweden can become such close friends, then India, Pakistan and China can become friends as well.
16:12 April 28, 2011 by gautam444
Just to add to Aveminus' reply: Saab was offering the Gripen NG variant to the Indian airforce. However the NG variant development is not complete (the Gripen C/D) is the one in use now). Only 2 Gripen NG planes exist right now (if I remember correctly). Secondly, India was much more in favour of a twin-engined plane rather than the one-engined Gripen and F-16. Finally, the 2 aircraft that have been selected for further consideration come with their own engine technology, while the Gripen uses a GE F414 engine from the US. Finally, one of the two that made the cut (the french rafale) can also be used from aircraft carriers. I think that all these factors probably led to the Gripen not being considered any further. However from all the blog chatter, it really sounds like there was a big fan base for the Gripen and there were rave reviews on how great it was to fly.
16:12 April 28, 2011 by Rick Methven

to take your make friends further how about Israel and Syria?
16:30 April 28, 2011 by millionmileman
Just yesterday Saab awarded its Top Gun Prize to an India pilot.and I have just posted on the good news in Trollhättan. I was not expecting this news from Linköping in the same morning.

I think Obama's intervention against Israel's IAI developing a joint export version with Saab did not help things. The Gripen would have been an excellent choice.
16:33 April 28, 2011 by coolguy09
In 1990's Grippen was offered for sale to Pakistan also and it was rejected only on one condition its engine is american and cant be sold to Pakistan, Indians are clever businessman and they take it as lesson

(1) Pakistan , china already making single engine jets which Pakistani pilots fly in real missions on its border ,hence the war horse is getting battle ready and improved .

(2) India need two engine jet to defend its vast breath of airspace, which unlike pakistan need only single engine jet to reach to india because of its less geographical india.

(3) India wants to pursue cold-start to increase its hegemony against its arch rival Pakistan ,,,,,,,,,,,Not china, for that reason it wants jets ,missile to strike it all , but till now it has achieved nothing

(4) Pakistan with its advanced missile and nuke program dont care if india even gets F-35 ,,,because for poor country as pakistan stakes are high to go upto max level thast nuke to kill and be killed /

So my friend Hindustani786 and aveminus just chill out and spend same money on building trust with your neighbour pakistan , increase trade and live peacefully , no matter how big indian economy it is and how sophisticated defense and attack systems they get , there is nothing invented to prevent nuclear catastrophe , which your neighbour loves to do , if you continue to pursue her disintegration.
16:56 April 28, 2011 by nldani
In INDIA you must know right people even if want to sell shitt at the gold price. Furthermore, you must show that you are willing to share the earnings with those right people.

Everything is easy to do in INDIA, just you need is right people and their right compensation in hands. THIS IS THE INDIAN WAY OF DOING BUSINESS.
20:38 April 28, 2011 by braswe28
I'm from Brazil. Here in my country there's a Air Plane contest for new models fo Brazilin Air Force, between Saab Gripen, Rafaele from France and Boieng from USA.

According to studies here and Defense's Minister report, the Grippen would be wiiner by your good price and function. However behind the scenes, there's a strong lobby for Rafaele air-planes, due treaty between Lula and Sarkosy last year. But now this decision are in our new President Dilma Roussef, who can decide what airplane will be purchase.
22:22 April 28, 2011 by Kalashnikov
SAAB is a creative company, it already developed 3 generations aircraft, India not only want to buy advanced airplanes but also find a reliable supporter. Russia is not a good choice, US is the best one, so I guess F-18 will win. Poor India~
01:48 April 29, 2011 by muscle
@Rick Methven

I dont see the point???? why not!
05:27 April 29, 2011 by warriorwithin
India now, Brazil next.

India's Indigenous LCA (light combat aircraft is ready) is being mass produced in India itself. Its in the meduim combat range that they are buying because they are still commisioning the technology for mass production.

Once that is done, India would turn a supplier not a buyer
09:48 April 30, 2011 by wenddiver
My favorite part of all these recent wars is that first 15 Minutes when the other side still has an Air Force, before the US planes gun(yes we still say gun down even with missiles) all the enemy garbage from the Air.

The only competition that counts is the crucible of combat.
10:26 April 30, 2011 by LeoKinmann

I see, so you sold aircrafts, a very interesting occupation. I hope our future encounter will reveal more of your expertise and past jobs.

When I said "lowest bidder", it doesn't mean the lowest amount of cash. It means the lowest cost, with opportunity cost and hidden costs included. For instance, having to buy American engines is clearly a hidden cost.
11:46 April 30, 2011 by Rick Methven

The cost is only a factor when you are comparing aircraft with the exact same specifications.

If you are buying a car the cheapest option is to buy a Skoda but that is not a good idea if you want the performance of a Ferrari.

All the aircraft the IAF are looking at are good and do the job that they where designed to do. What the aircraft salesmen have to do is to persuade the customer to change the requirements specification so that their aircraft is the one that most closely matches the spec. Then comes the back door wheeler dealing that makes it politically and economically acceptable. A higher end price can always be justified by emphasising the higher technical spec of that must have system.

Been there done that and got several T-shirts
12:07 April 30, 2011 by Rebel
Ah shucks, you send some jets to fly around Libya and still nobody wants to buy your plane? So in the event NATO defeats Ghadaffi, and is able to steal Libyan oil, Sweden will get what...nothing?
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