The gloves are off, not that they were ever on. Just a few days after Gripen held a well-reported press conference in Delhi last week, Lockheed-Martin has hit out at the Swedish plane-maker's campaign for India's $10.2-billion medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition. At a reception for Lockheed-Martin's new India head Roger Rose, there was lots of talk on Gripen country head Eddy de la Motte's repeated affirmation that there would be "total transfer of technology" if the Gripen was selected. Lockheed-Martin Vice President (Business Development, India) Orville Prins told journalists that the Gripen campaign's assertion that there would be 100 per cent ToT was "dishonest and inaccurate".
Prins pointed out that with an admitted 35 per cent of the Gripen being made up by American components and systems, there was no way that the Swedes could trumpet full transfer of technology, simply because a full transfer of technology would mean formal release of the said technology by the US government, which may or may not be forthcoming. "Without formal sanction for technology release, it simply not honest to say you can transfer all technology. It is plainly false," Prins said.
Like I said, the gloves are off, and even the world's biggest aerospace firm feels the heat sometime or other. The F-16IN campaign considers itself seriously threatened by the Gripen IN's concerted effort to fritter out American content. It's interesting how Lockheed-Martin would also rely on a political leash on the Swedes, rather than concentrate its effort on attacking its competitors on technology. But then again, even the Swedes know this isn't a meat and potatoes campaign.
Labels: AIR FORCE, Aircraft And Helicopters, Controversy, DEFENCE PROCUREMENTS, LiveFist Exclusive, M-MRCA Competition, UNITED STATES-RELATED