Monday, September 14, 2009

Lockheed Launches Attack On Gripen's MMRCA Campaign

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.

17 comments :

Anonymous said...

any news about HAL-LCH?

could you cover anything on this?

hynniewtrep said...

ToT by Gripen is meaningles because it's engine is not Swedish

Anonymous said...

SAAB knows that it would be very very difficult for Gripen to succeed for reasons well known. But it is acting as a game spoiler. "If I don't win, I would make conditions for your win not look happier either". In one way they are making the competition tougher for the other competitors. Infact they are helping us.

anon@6:38 pm go to ajaishukla blog about HAL-LCH.

Anonymous said...

So the rules are clear and simple. Keep off U.S systems altogether. Go for Rafale or Mig-35's or if it is required add Eurofighter into the competition as well.

Anonymous said...

MiG 35 would win MMRCA...............over and out

Anonymous said...

A less advanced plane fully in your control is worth more than remotely controlled high tech plane.
A bird in hand is worth two in a bush.

Anonymous said...

Both are single engined.... Slim chances of winning..muff..
Mig 35 wins MMCRA

Anonymous said...

I pray to ALLAH that the MiG-35 wins the contract. The superlative OLS on board the MiG-35 will make the MiG-35 a 5th-generation fighter not just 4.5th generation. but my 6th sense tells me that the amrikis will not give up easily, they will shove down our throat obsolete F-16 & Scaled down version of the super-hornet

Anonymous said...

What is the ToT of Lockheed then? 1%? it still an enormous difference. And all the source codes...

Anonymous said...

US may have control over 35%, but Sweden can still provide ToT for the other 65%, which is significant. Sweden can also provide technical assistance and a joint program to find soloutions to 35% US content.

Gripen NG-MKI is still the best option, Mig-35 while capable is too logistically 'heavy' for our requirements. Modern sensors and integration suites mean the job of an MRCA can be done very well by a Gripen sized platform.

Realist said...

The best option is to buy the Rafale - it will have AESA, all aspect SPECTRA EW suite, comes with full transfer of source codes and is far superior to both F-16 and F-18 in manouverability. This is the best, non sanctionable choice for India.

But Indian Govt, especially MMS, the gora foot licker, will buy only American.

Rafale said...

i feel IAF would go in for a twin engined plane.This means Gripen & F16 are out. F 18 looks capable & is combat proven,but its success may be determined by the US offer of ToT & industrial offsets

Anonymous said...

Gripen is clearly reducing US content to about 20 per cent in the Gripen IN ... they have said as much ...

The F414 engine ... sourced from the US is both a big advantage and disadvantage for the Gripen ... while the engine gives it the ability to super-cruise, increases reliability, is more efficient etc ... it is still an American product ...

For the IAF to accept the Gripen IN ... which may well turn out to the best jet in the competition ... the IAF will need to take a leap of faith ... assume that the Swedes will fully develop the platform as promised with the added incentive of having HAL as a full partner in exploiting the potential of the jet.

For all their high-tech promises ... the Super Viper finds itself in a conundrum ... the Gripen has bettered the F-16 in several international competitions ... and has the potential for serious future upgrades ...

Wow ... this competition is really going to go down to the wire ...

Incidentally ... the Gripen C/D already meets the RFP requirements in everything other than range and AESA ... both of which will be showcased on the demonstrator when she is flown here.

The Swedes are independently backing the Gripen for the Air Force till 2040 ... thats an added incentive ... and a safety net of sorts for the IAF ...

But ... still ... the F-16 IN is, almost, a finished produced ... there is little else to demonstrate (other than a weather mode on the radar) ... The Swedes come into this competition with a better ... but less proved jet (the Gripen IN that is) ...

captainjohann said...

When did the opinion of fighter pilots or merit of machines count in selection?
It is going to be American F18 unless russians show some real political muscle.

Anonymous said...

Only that aircraft should win which fits into IAF's budget, fulfills the technical requirements and overall the best deal in terms of transfer of technology irrespective of whether the aircraft is single or twin engined.Inspite of the IAF buying more SU-30MKI's then also a reduced order for a Rafale or a Eurofighter is a possibility.

Anonymous said...

Well, the RM12 that powers Gripen A/B/C/D is made up roughly 60% swedish parts, some of which have been transfered to F414 (Such as several IR-signature reduction measures, like the new flame holder developed for RM12).

Anonymous said...

very interesting but without source it lacks credence