Swiss evaluation of Gripen showed flaws that were hidden but unearth only when the Swiss choose GripenTuesday, 14 February 2012
Swedish fighter jet, the Gripen is being sought to be sold in
Switzerland. Bedsides the pressure from France, the other
competitor for the contract which would rather theirs, Rafale be chosen
over the Swedish flagship jet fighter, it has emerged that only after
the Swiss government has decided on placing an order for the Gripen has
there emerged news that Gripen had flaws in initial testing.
The question now is was someone pushed or did the information just fell
from somewhere? The most controversy and cloud surrounding the whole
biding affair is that it is the French who are really trumpeting and
dramatizing the issue that will add more pressures on the swiss
authority to change their mind in favour of the French.
The core of the argument is that information emerged that the Swedish
Gripen did not pass a test thereby reducing its passing points by one
point. This means that the overall point which was supposed to be six,
the Swedish product scored just 5 points.
The that result was hidden in someone’s drawer in the Swiss Air Force’s
office desk far away from the media until it was leaked recently.
For the manufacturer Saab, it has remained silent on the criticism, but
this has not yet killed negotiation with Switzerland on their original
big order for the gripen.
"Obviously, we have seen that report which is out and has noted it. I
can say that the Swiss decision to proceed with Saab and Gripen is
still made by the government and that covered many aspects, "says Marie
Karlsson, press officer at Saab.
But the report from 2009, carried out by the Swiss Air Force departed
from the aviation inspection evaluation made on the Gripen and
the other competing fighter jets, including the French Rafale, carried
out in 2008.
According to reports from the Swedish Daily, Dagens Industri, Reuters
refers to Sunday’s web edition of the paper Sonntagszeitung for the
information and also point out that the jet fighter, Gripen did not
reach the minimum requirements in the six areas tested.
The view is that in the overall core sections tested, the Gripen’s
central area scored 5.33 on a scale of 10. This happens while the
Eurofighter and Rafale scored 6.48 6.98 respectively. The minimum
requirement according to reports was 6 on a scale of 10.
So the question which remain unanswered is why did the Swiss choose the
Gripen which is of inferior quality to the French and others which are
better quality and why was the report not published as soon as the
findings where finalised. Cynically, are the French forcing the Swiss
authority to see that the Swedish product, which is already properly
being used in 5 countries of the world poorer in quality than the
French jet that is not being used by anybody but which was recently
dumped in India.
The media noted that the Swiss defense minister during the press
conference held in November on the Gripen decision said that the
aircraft met all the country's military requirements.
Saab's representatives would not go into the report. But Maria Karlsson
says that the evaluation was made at an early stage and that
Switzerland chose to proceed with the Gripen. Of course Gripen has been
tried and tested in 5 different countries and those countries have not
abandoned Gripen for anything better, they are happy with Gripen so why
all the fuse from the French.
Saab has certainly been given the green light from Switzerland on the
selection of Gripen over its competitors. But more work is being
negotiated, including the price.
It is not clear as to how this information has affected the
negotiations with Switzerland as the Saab spokes person could not
comment on negotiations and the process. “But we have a good dialogue.
They have covered many aspects that reflect the interest of a fighter
jet buyer, "said Marie Karlsson.
Saab's representative is quoted in the Swiss media that he is willing
to bargain. However this is something Marie Karlsson could just add
that “we are in negotiations and there are very many aspects of what
will be part of a total package. These include price, infrastructure
and production itself, "said Marie Karlsson.
It has recently been claims that Brazil has chosen to buy from the
French Rafale and Gripen is once more snubbed. For that, Marie Karlsson
said " its information that we have only seen in the media. We have not
received any indication that anything has been finished in Brazil. We
feel we have a good offer. The process continues as it has been done."
Even in the French media, which closely monitors the French hunting for
the sale of its aircraft, the Rafales, and also position in various
contracts, concludes that the Swedish competitor has not fully
succeeded in the tests.
By Scancomark.se Team
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