While there's evidence that Boeing's chances were hurt by the NSA revelations, it's not true that Boeing was a clear favourite. Both Saab and Dassault had presented strong bids and were considered serious contenders, particularly as both offered much higher industrial participation and technology sharing than Boeing and as such had the support of Brazil's aviation industry. That cannot be underestimated, and it's why Boeing was at a disadvantage even before the NSA story broke.
The Saab Gripen met Brazil's FX-2 requirements, it has a lower operating cost than the Rafale or Super Hornet, Saab has agreed to transfer a massive amount of technology and Sweden has committed to investigate a quid pro quo acquisition of Brazilian KC-390 tanker transports. Boeing could not match all that.
From TFA: "Until earlier this year, Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet had been considered the front runner... "The NSA problem ruined it for the Americans," a Brazilian government source said on condition of anonymity."
Does it remain a "US-centric view" when Brazil is the party saying, "Because NSA"?
Or possibly Brazil had promised to go with Boeing, but recently decided Saab was a better deal. Backing out would cost them whatever political capital is traded in smoky rooms. Now they can point to the NSA and save face.
International relations are complicated.
For all we know this "leak" is being used to legitimize something else entirely, perhaps the Brazilian military is unhappy withy the decision and this story exists to deflect criticisms from domestic sources: we picked the unpopular aircraft because the NSA would use Boeings aircraft to spy on us. Or we want to send a message, etc.
Welcome to world politics, where the truth is rarely what people say it is.
On the other hand, the NSA spying on Brazil's president and on some large companies (sign of a commercial use of NSA's resources, not just defense as is otherwise claimed) may have contributed to the souring of some relations used to lobby for Boeing, therefore weakening it's position and enabling Saab to break the deadlock.
Much like we probably try to intercept every communication for of foreign diplomatic missions in Brazilian soil.
That simply isn't true. The Brazilian government was very clearly pointing towards the Rafale while the air force was somewhat leaning towards the Gripen NG. There was enormous pressure not to drop the F/A-18 altogether, despite the clear shortcomings of Boeing's proposal.
The part of the sentence that's an actual quote doesn't contradict my post.
It could also be because the USA has stopped a big sale from Embraer to Venezuela years ago.
And earlier this year the USA annulled a contract that Embraer had won to supply Super Tucano to the US Air force in favour of a local plane maker.
We got the comments from each party privileged to the private deals each company made. We can cut away the commentary of the article, and still be left with a finger pointing at NSA. At that point, we can either trust that they speak the truth, or think they are lying.
> lower operating cost than the Rafale or Super Hornet, Saab has agreed to transfer a massive amount of technology and Sweden has committed to investigate a quid pro quo acquisition of Brazilian KC-390 tanker transports
Was that a new offer on the table, or has it been there several years? What causes the negotiations to continue for years, and what caused the negotiations to stop now? Those are the question I am left with after reading parent comment in the light of the article.
The basics of the Saab offer have likely been the same for more than a year now, including talks on the KC-390 and the option of leasing JAS-39C and D aircraft for an interim capability.
What has changed is that Brazil has been forced to retire all 12 of its Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft by the end of the year, as they have reached the limit of their service lives without costly refurbishment. This has left a gap in the country's air defence capability that needs to be filled urgently, meaning that the government had no option but to finalise F-X2. Until now successive governments have treated it as a political football, being unwilling to commit to the high cost in case it cost them at election time.
This is why I said that, younger people see Apple more than older people do because of the "renaissance."
You could easily counter with the Apple 2 in the 80s...
Edit: they want to be Californian, they are different note how it doesnt say designed in America.
Ha! I hadn't thought about that untill your post. What the hell is this 'designed in California' thing? Boy, Apple really does try hard to look cool. Someone probably said "why not 'designed in Silicon Valley'?" and he/she was fired for not knowing that it was too bourgeois.
Not mentioned here is the fact that old conspiracy theories surrounding the explosion that destroyed the Alcantara launch pad and killed the cream of the crop of the Brazilian space program, have recently been resurrected and it's believed plausible by some members of the Brazilian government although not widely publicized. Some blame the French for possible sabotaging it.
Over the years the Brazilian secret service (ABIN), have arrested several French spies around Alcantara - the latest case was that a French spy posing as kitesurf instructor. Other cases include water buoys found at sea near the Air Base loaded with electronics, also blamed on the French.
EDIT: added a few sources (sorry portuguese only)
I have to point out the VLS launcher has a seriously weird all-solid-fuel design. I am not a rocket scientist, but, as an engineer, I have to wonder what the hell those rocket scientists knew no other spacefaring country did since nobody launches satellites on all-solid-fuel rockets. They cannot be controlled after lit (the VLS used all-solid-fuel-with-oxidizer and not solid-fuel-with-liquid-oxidizer).
When you are doing something nobody else is doing it the same way you are (in special the people who have been successfully doing it for decades) it's time for you to question your own wisdom.
Sure they do.
For example, NASA's LADEE mission was launched to the moon in September 2013 on a Minotaur V: a five-stage all-solid rocket.
Last month, India just launched a Mars orbiter using the PSLV: a 4-stage rocket with only the second and fourth stages being liquid. The first stage was solid, and had 6 solid rocket boosters. Thus, it launched entirely on solids.
And of course, there are lots of liquid-fueled rockets with solid boosters on liquid-fueled rockets. The French Ariane 5, for example, has one liquid core stage plus two solids. The solids produce 92% of thrust at liftoff. Solids are great at producing thrust.
The American Titan IIIc rocket took this configuration to its ultimate conclusion. It was launched solely on the solid rocket boosters. The liquid-fueled core stage did not even ignite until a couple of minutes into the mission, i.e., although it was at the bottom of the stack, it actually served as a second stage.
If you're talking about spacefaring nations that avoid solids, you're really only talking about the Russians, Chinese, and Ukrainians. They only use solids on military missions, and stick with liquids on civilian missions. They get the necessary thrust by clustering lots of engines together.
The Chinese moon rover, for example, was launched on a Long March 3B with a total of 8 engines ignited at lift-off -- 4 liquid-fueled engines in the core stage, plus 4 liquid rocket boosters. Yes, that's right, even their strap-on boosters are liquid-fueled.
After the explosion, the Brazilian Space Agency was criticized for using solid-fuel rockets, which are easier to build and ignite than liquid-fuel rockets, but also dangerous because they lack throttle controls and emergency shut-offs.
It's sad so many died in the accident, but engineering and rocketry are notoriously unforgiving.
My bets are on extreme cost reduction measures, plus unrealistic deadlines.
But with the right partners and some investment the Alcântara could become a real treat to the French centre in Guiana.
> they do not have police powers and thus cannot arrest people
So, saying that they don't detain nor arrest people is fair point.
Although they could detain and so could any other Brazilian citizen detain any person caught red handed (Latin In flagrante delicto) as stated in the Brazilian constitution.
"Can ABIN arrest people? No. ABIN doesn't have police powers/attributions."
Original in Portuguese: A ABIN pode prender pessoas?
Não. A ABIN não tem atribuições de polícia. Deter, prender, custodiar ou interrogar são
atos incompatíveis com a atividade de Inteligência.
Saying any Brazilian citizen can detain someone caught in a criminal act is not what we're talking about here.
The Rafale was closer, but the high cost of maintenance did it.
The decision happened long before the NSA revelations and I think that shows that the Gripen has things that speak for it on its own.
The reason they mention it was the NSA is because the government wants to capitalize on the anti-american commotion (and it's working).
The real reason is that Boeing is a competitor to Embraer, so transfer of technology would be limited. Boeing simply had a worse, more expensive offer.
And its pretty deserved, and im saying that also as a brazilian, cause: would you trust in the software, hardware and firmware of those after all we know about the NSA revelations? worse yet , if you think you dont have access to the source code, or to modify any part of it, as a pure blackbox..
Would you trust your country safety and security to something that its very likely to be a trojan horse(somehow), after all we know now?
How can you trust your defense to something or somebody you cant trust at all?
(and lets not forget that Embraer was on the NSA espionage files too)
So, this is not "anti-american", but a pretty wise decision.. forgeting all the politics involved in the case..
Its pretty rational
Dilma is crazy to boost the government's image, internal and worldwide, making our country look like a bastion of freedom and democracy, when we both know it's none of that (unless you work for the government).
I agree with everything said about NSA, but we can't be naive to the fact this is going to be used as a PWMD (Political Weapon of Mass Destruction) to justify anything from now on.
Saab was very open for transfer of technology at that time, and I imagine it still is, which would be one of the biggest factors in their favour.
There have also been some rumors about the less than stellar performance of the Rafale in recent conflict situations which I'm sure also contributed to the deal.
"In the fall of 08, we invited a number of USG officials to visit Oslo to make the public case on why the F-35 is an excellent choice, and the private case on why the choice of aircraft will have an impact on the bilateral relationship (see refs A,B)."
But the U.S. did scoop up the ex-Avro employees to bootstrap their fledgling space program.
"Indian Air Force officials, while happy with the improved capabilities of Gripen NG, identified its high reliance on US-supplied hardware, including electronics, weaponry and the GE F414 engine"
The weapon manufacturers + US government nexus has changed world politics over last 50 years. In case of India and Pakistan, US has provided fuel to the conflict just to make more profit from this. Sooner or later the developed world is going to see through the US policy of benefiting from conflict. China is already self dependent in heavy arms manufacturing, India is slow but reaching there. In probably next 20 years, US monopoly on defense equipment will end.
Nor that in 2013 an NSA employee will be in Russia embarrassing the USA like this, without the USA doing nothing.
It's not that Obama is good and G. W. Bush is bad. It's more that the times are A changin'.
Long story short: while totally denying its existance the pact of USA, UK and many other countires spent billions of dollars to built sattelite-communication interceptinig facilities... while 99% of world's traffic moved into fiber optic undersea cables by 2006.
It is sad that this is how it works, and that it takes evidence of a large corporation losing money to be the catalyst for change. But at least it will work in our favor for once.
It's Boeing, with an 'e'.
Mnemonic: "Boeing planes don't go boing." :)
Before we thought you were an ally we could trust, so we were going to buy your overpriced jets to strengthen the friendship. Now that you have showed your true face we are going to go with the lowest bidder instead.
Saab has lost several bids due to countries buying worse planes from the US for diplomatic purposes.
Bad US behavior does impact their business . Expect similar action for the Indian Diplomat arrest case
Both the Rafale and Gripen are much better choices. The Gripen especially, it's probably the best performing plane per dollar in the world - and has a lot of advantages besides sheer performance...
"Fan fact" the Brazilian government has been seating on this project to renew the aging Air Force's fleet since 1994.
And in 2001/2002 the contenters were (in no specific order):
- Sukhoi Su-35
- Eurofighter Typhoon
- General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16
- Mikoyan MiG-29
- Saab JAS 39 Gripen
- McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet
- Dassault Rafale
This to me is the most interesting quote. Although vague, you just have to wonder how much of this spy data goes to companies? Anyone can understand that the US has an interest in maintaining the importance of their own corporations around the world.
Both my friend and his father are full time factory workers at a company called "Goodrich". They machine landing gear primarily for Boeing jets.
This means less available-overtime at the very least (which many of the workers rely on), and possibly lost wage increases in the future. Who knows.
The only way they could have won this is if they lobbied enough for the Brazilians to look past the significant shortcomings of the Boeing aircraft. And I think even then their lack of cooperation when it comes to transfer of technology and offsets would have sabotaged the deal.
Brazil already has a very reliable civilian aircraft maker in Embraer, and they are looking to bootstrap them into defense through transfer of technology. Boeing never would have done that.
And it's clear that the last choice was a political one also.
I am thrilled to read incredible insightful comments in posts like this. HN intrinsic value is incredible.
Given standard NATO practice of taking out the radar and the runways in the first few femto-seconds of a 'war', I think this feature makes the Gripen worthy of consideration.
That said, do features really matter in the arms trade?
I dunno. Will the next serious war use planes at all? Or something smaller (I bet on smaller, for air and water)?
Anyway, Brazilian fighters are modeled to beat a defensive war against Venezuela. I guess the F22 is not the best fighter to use over the Amazon florest (but I don't know muh).
5th gen fighter:
Que more down votes! I will never get to that down vote feature threshold.
edit: I come for the great links, the discussion are just a side effect of the awesome content.
Looking at the statistics though, the Gripen has been in very few accidents compared to other fighter jets.
The F-22 can sustain high Gs for longer which exacerbated the problem with the BRAG valve.