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Sunday, July 05, 2009

US forces IAI out of Indian fighter competition

The United States has forced Israel Aerospace Industries (a government company) out of the bidding for a $12 billion contract to develop a multi-purpose fighter jet for India. While the ostensible reason is the possible use of American technology in the fighter jet, the real reason appears to be the desire to protect Lockheed and Boeing from competition.
What was strange with the American request was that Boeing and Lockheed Martin - the two largest US defense contractors - are also competing for the Indian deal. For this reason, Israeli officials said it was more likely that the Americans were concerned that if IAI competed for the deal with Saab, it would force the American companies to lower their prices.

A multi-role fighter, the Gripen [pictured. CiJ] is in service in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary and South Africa. IAI was supposed to provide the electronic systems - radar, communications and electronic-warfare - for the plane.

This is not the first time that an Israeli company has been forced out of a deal due to concerns that competing with American companies would endanger Israeli-US relations.

Last summer, the MoD ordered Israel Military Industries (IMI) to back down from submitting a bid for a half-a-billion dollar deal to develop and manufacture a new tank for the Turkish Armed Forces.
This sort of thing has to make you wonder whether Israel would be better off without US foreign aid and competing on its own in the arms market.


At 8:07 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

US foreign aid means Israel cannot exploit new markets and make new alliances. It means Israel is the doormat of the world. With Ehud Barak running off to see Mitchell every time he asks for it, do you think Israel is respected?

What could go wrong indeed


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