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India rejects Swedish Jas Gripen fighter jets for French Dassault Rafale

Tuesday, 31 January 2012
French Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft beats Saab’s Jas Gripen jet fighter in India as the government there decided finally on which fighter jet to choose in beefing up their air defences.

This is not a very low belly blow to the Swedish military hardware producer which had hopped that the Indians would prefer its advanced JAS Gripen given its robustness.

An Indian news agency, Press Trust of India, citing anonymous sources, reports that the multi-billion dollar order has been passed to the French Dassault, Rafale fighter aircrafts, being the choice of the authority there.

India is reportedly set to buy 126 fighter jets. Except Rafale, there was increased discussion as contenders,  among others multi-nation built Eurofighter and Saab's JAS Gripen.

"We have won the contract," confirmed Pierre Lellouche, French Secretary of State on matters concerning foreign trade, according to AFP on Tuesday, though adding that there are still some issues that that needs attention.

Dassault shares rose by over 20 percent on the Paris Stock Exchange when the news was made public.
However sceptics writing in the Journal, Defence Weekly, are on the view that the deal is far from clear.
“Rafale has been identified as a bidder they prefer, but anyone who studies Indian procurements know it means nothing until the contract is physically signed,” according to critics writing in the Defence weekly

If Sweden is totally walloped here with the Indian choosing Rafale instead of the Jas Gripen, then Saab should hold its breath for the next encounter in Brazil where Rafale and Gripen are also lurking horns for that contract there.

The order there is worth $12 billion (equivalent to over Skr81 billion), according to reports.

The French news agency quotes another anonymous government sources saying that Dassault, preference by the Indians was down to their lowest possible bid compared to the other competitors.

Rafale final opponent in the end is said to have been the Eurofighter – whereas Jas Gripen, the Russian Mig 35 and the American F 16 and F / A 18 were dropped at the earlier stage.

"As far as we know, this is a step in the procurement process that operates in India, "said Peter Liander, press officer at the Swedish defence company Saab.

He says that Saab for some time found out that they are out of contention, and did not believed that India would change their mind. "We are not surprised in any way.”

Ask if this might mean something for the Brazilian affair? The dejected Saab spokes person said that: "It is impossible to speculate".

Liander would also not say anything relating to speculation that Dassault has given the Swiss government, a new bid which could crush all Saab’s hopes of selling the Jas Gripen to Switzerland.
"I can only conclude that what we have been doing is to continue negotiations with the Swiss government to finalize the deal.”
By Scancomark.se Team

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