Now Dassault Filches Gripen's Line, Declares Rafale's 'Independence'

If the gloves weren't off all along, they are now. Just weeks ahead of a final decision on the MMRCA competition, Dassault, which doesn't usually bother with adaptive advertising, has a slew of brand new print ads that tell you a great deal about what they're seeing as the deciding factor in the Indian government's final decision. First off, it must be said, they've pinched the whole "independence" theme from Saab, which pitched its Gripen as the "independent choice" or "choice of independence" ever since it entered the multi-billion dollar competition (and after it was eliminated).

The advert above, appearing in show dailies at the ongoing Dubai Air Show, makes Dassault's so far implicit view of things, pretty plain. "When a single country makes your aircraft from nose to tail, you know what you're getting into. Rafale is not subject to multinational controls.", the copy begins -- a direct swipe at the Typhoon's four-nation heritage. It's the elegance of the business that EADS Cassidian trumpets this very multi-nation backing as a potential coup de grĂ¢ce in the final stretch. With the commercial offers of both firms understood to be far less disparate than many expected, both firms clearly believe other considerations will come into play. And let's not miss the fact that both have made it utterly plain with their new adverts and statements that they believe, ultimately, in the political decision.

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