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US Spying Costs Boeing Military Jet Deal With Brazil

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the voting-with-your-reals dept.

Businesses 439

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from a Reuters report shedding light on one consequence of increasing knowledge of the extent of U.S. government spying: "Brazil awarded a $4.5 billion contract to Saab AB on Wednesday to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets, a surprise coup for the Swedish company after news of U.S. spying on Brazilians helped derail Boeing's chances for the deal. ... The timing of the announcement, after more than a decade of off-and-on negotiations, appeared to catch the companies involved by surprise. Even Juniti Saito, Brazil's top air force commander, said on Wednesday that he only heard of the decision a day earlier in a meeting with President Dilma Rousseff. Until earlier this year, Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet had been considered the front runner. But revelations of spying by the U.S. National Security Agency in Brazil, including personal communication by Rousseff, led Brazil to believe it could not trust a U.S. company."

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439 comments

Boohoo (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735599)

Seems fair. The US government does the same to Chinese companies for the same reason.

Re:Boohoo (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 4 months ago | (#45735897)

In once sense... But the US people will pay again for the arrogance of the government. It is about time that the people in government start to pay as well.

Re:Boohoo (2, Insightful)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 4 months ago | (#45735943)

I don't think you understand. There are two groups of people. Those who pay. And those who don't. And those who don't aren't about to start.

M'kay?

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735953)

Too quote Bad Santa: "Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up faster".

Re:Boohoo (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 4 months ago | (#45736217)

But the US people will pay again for the arrogance of the government.

I, like the vast majority of the US, am neither a shareholder nor employee of Boeing. Explain to me how this costs me a lot of money.

I agree that the way the NSA is spying on everyone is really really stupid, arrogant, and against the basic principles of civilized government. But I also don't think that Boeing has a right to contracts with anyone in particular, and that foreign governments can stop doing business with US-based businesses for any reason. And while this scuttled deal is certainly bad for Boeing, I don't see how what's bad for Boeing is necessarily bad for America.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Alan Warrick (3422939) | about 4 months ago | (#45736099)

Remember citizens who needs money when you can buy food with secrets.... Wait... Walmart doesn't list secrets as a form of payment. On the bright side though the NSA should be able to warn companies in advanced when foreign companies are going to drop US vendors.. for a little while.. oh wait too late.

Yay! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735613)

You made the correct choice, Brazil! For more than one reason.

Re:Yay! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735707)

They made the right choice as long as they don't need to use what ever they get as a replacement. We still make the best planes over here.

This decision is more of a vendetta than a stately response. The quick turn around shows that.

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

Z80a (971949) | about 4 months ago | (#45736003)

If the planes have some sort of hidden software that allows someone to monitorate/control the planes remotely, they're not the best anymore.

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

jcdr (178250) | about 4 months ago | (#45736101)

No even need of a hidden software. A government can force to reduce the maintenance from the manufacturer. This is why the Brazil want a full technology transfer.

Re:Yay! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736025)

They made the right choice as long as they don't need to use what ever they get as a replacement. We still make the best planes over here.

Even the people at f-16.net [f-16.net] appears to like Gripen more. The consensus seems to be that F-16 is a better at carrying loads at long distances but Gripen in better in direct combat or situations where maneuverability is of importance.
In any training missions where both planes were used Gripen came out ahead.

The thing is that the designs are different for a reason. Gripen is designed to defend a relatively small airspace against intruding planes. The F-16 have sacrificed some of this ability to make it more usable as a medium range offensive unit.

So if you want to take out tanks in Iraq, go for F-16. If you want to defend yourself against F-16, use Gripen.

I don't know what you mean with "over here" but I'm pretty sure you don't mean over at Boeing.

Re:Yay! (3, Informative)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 4 months ago | (#45736055)

F-18, not F-16. Honestly, reading the article might be too much effort but at least try reading the summary now and again.

Re:Yay! (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#45736047)

gripen isn't shit and it has the cheapest TOC of jets of it's class apparently.

the engine is general electric and it can use weapons from all providers. it also has the modern radar now that usa stopped playing games with it as well.

it might fit their use profile better than the super hornets anyways... probably better for shitty airstrips and improvised runways too(assumption in nordic countries is that in case of conflict all the airbase runways are bombed within half an hour or so.. that's why finland and sweden is littered with suitable road straights).

it is a bit of a vendetta, in the sense that they had been in talks and considerations to buy the jets for almost a decade. maybe they just couldn't make up their mind who to buy from - now the decision was put on their lap. it's also likely that a sizeable chunk of the spying was targeted exactly to make the boeing deal happen!

mind you, usa has bought plenty of weapons from sweden as well. perhaps the swedes were more willing to share firmware to the planes too(basically a country is stupid to buy jets if not, finnish non-super hornets have had considerable firmware modifications in finland too..).

Re:Yay! (4, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 4 months ago | (#45736219)

Fun detail: our large intercity older roads are actually not that straight for most part, as they are intended to be repairable after B-52/TU-95 does a carpet bombing run. Large roads tend to slightly curve back and forth, so carpet bombing from a bomber flying in a straight line would miss most of its load. This makes road repairs much easier.

Side roads on the other hand are often designed to be functional as small air strips, so they are straight.

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736061)

Wrong. Totally. Don't underestimate the SuperGrippen

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736147)

The Gripen is higher spec and cheaper. Anyway by 2020 both designs will be more than 20 years old. It may not beat an F-22 or whatever but could still meet whatever requirements they may have.

Re:Yay! (3, Interesting)

jcdr (178250) | about 4 months ago | (#45736181)

For Brazil it's better to have a Gripen with a full control of his maintenance, than having a USA fighter with a political dependency for his maintenance. The question is not to have the best fighter, the question is to have a fighter that are operational in any political situation.

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736223)

The punchline is that SAAB AG will probably be bought out by Boeing in the coming years. They're extending their tentacles into them already with their T-X program bid, and there's another round of M&A consolidation in the defense sector coming up.

Re:Yay! (2)

mellon (7048) | about 4 months ago | (#45735793)

Yes, it's fortunate that they've gone with a country that doesn't spy on its friends. Säpo would never do anything like that. :)

Anyway, this is more grist for the "NSA bad behavior is bad for business" argument. Sucks for the Boeing employees who miss out on this work, but it's an entirely understandable outcome.

Re:Yay! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736225)

Oh no, not Säkerhetspolisen. FRA on the other hand...

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736133)

No, they should have gone with the Rafale over the single-engine Gripen.

About time (5, Insightful)

toutankh (1544253) | about 4 months ago | (#45735637)

It's about time something like that happened. Now if only all European countries showed the same level of responsibility, maybe the USA would learn to treat their "friends" better.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735711)

It's about time something like that happened. Now if only all European countries showed the same level of responsibility, maybe the USA would learn to treat their "friends" better.

More to the point, they will learn to keep their secrets better. Thanks, Snowden!

Re:About time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735815)

By that logic, we should never punish people for crimes because they will only get better at committing them.

Re:About time (2)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 4 months ago | (#45736075)

Actually that's exactly what happens when you imprison people for minor crimes - they get better and try the major ones.

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

toutankh (1544253) | about 4 months ago | (#45735821)

I think it's not so much about the fact that it was hidden until now. We've heard about spying by the USA, for instance in order to help Boeing win contracts, for a long time (I know I have). It's more about the fact that so far nobody dared say anything because the USA are the biggest player. Of course other countries do it as well, but this time the biggest bully doesn't get away with it and that's something to be appreciated.

Re:About time (0, Troll)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 months ago | (#45735817)

While I agree, it seems Europe is in this mess as deep as the US. In point of fact, the data trading between countries has allowed the US to circumvent our 4th Amendment by subcontracting domestic spying to our allies.

BRIC is the future world power, my friends. And we are powerless to stop it. But hey, at least we'll all have shitty health insurance that we're forced to buy!

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735935)

BRIC is the latest "threat" in a list going back to the Japanese in the 80s.

Re:About time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736091)

BRIC isn't the threat. The threat is multinational corporations aiming for short-term profit. And that's not only a US threat, that's what is going to collapse the world economy.

Re:About time (5, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 4 months ago | (#45735819)

At this point, I think it's inevitable that spying will be a central issue in the 2016 Presidential election, and neither party will dare to defend the status quo. Corporate campaign donors are starting to see the economic implications, and they'll be raising a hell of a fuss by the time two more years have gone by.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736049)

Yes, both of the main parties will talk about how stealing private IP is bad and will promise to push for increased punishment and more powers for investigations into who's likely to gather and share acquired IP. Sounds good?

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736053)

> and neither party will dare to defend the status quo

During the campaign? Maybe. Once one of them has won? The new administration will find a "balanced compromise" that'll give spies even more powers and put them under even less oversight.

Re:About time (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736113)

At this point, I think it's inevitable that spying will be a central issue in the 2016 Presidential election, and neither party will dare to defend the status quo.

Until elected. As usual.

Re:About time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735913)

The USA don't have friends. People often talk about "Third World" countries. Do you know the definition? Do you know what the "First World" is? It's not "the West" or "industrialized countries" or "countries which have transitioned to a service economy". The "First World" is the USA, period. The USA don't see themselves on the same level as anyone else.

Re:About time (3, Informative)

cusco (717999) | about 4 months ago | (#45736175)

You don't get to invent your own definitions just to satisfy your own ignorance. The phrase has a very clear definition and has for over half a century, arising out of the Cold War.

Second World - Soviet Union, eastern European countries they dominated, Yugoslavia, sometimes China

Third World - Everyone Else

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736249)

Actually, Third World is Cold War foreign policy term for countries which were neither part of "The West" (which included neutral democracies in Europe such as Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Austria), nor part of "behind Iron Curtain countries" ... basically it means "not one of us, not one of them, but a third side, a Third World".

More then coincidentally, the Third World also comprised mostly of impoverished freshly liberated former colonies.

Re:About time (1)

Some Bitch (645438) | about 4 months ago | (#45735923)

We do, the Eurofighter was a mind bogglingly expensive project and a fleet of Boeing aircraft would have been a much cheaper option but we went for the locally grown one.

Re:About time (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 4 months ago | (#45736083)

Agreed. However, it was the Europeans that put Obama high on this pedestal of "can do no wrong", new age of enlightenment and exuberance all around. Well, fuck em for their support of this piece of shit! This is what you get when you stand by a radical leftist!!!

Go, NSA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735643)

...there are a few other deals hanging, too...

Re:Go, NSA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735679)

clicked too early...

But seriously - how much of that will we see in, say, the next two years, and am i alone in thinking that the NSA have given a nice alibi to each and everyone wanting to get out of "nearly fixed" deals with US tech companies?

Re:Go, NSA! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736209)

The NSA revelations, on top of the ridiculous gap between rich and poor and the drop in healthcare and welfare support (excluding Obama's healthcare bill) lead me to believe there is, or at least will be, a shit-ton of unrest in the country. And given that it's a constitutional right to "bear arms", i'm sure there's enough guns, and enough means of communication, to effectively organise a civil war overnight and overthrow the government. I give it 10 years before the USA turns itself into a warzone, instead of some other oil-bearing country.

The Cost ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735645)

This is one of the costs of unintended consequences. I expect some to blame Snowden for this loss of business because blaming the perpetrator isn't as popular as blaming the messenger.

Remote control? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 months ago | (#45735647)

Plus, if I were them, I'd be worried that the USA would insert a backdoor in the avionics that allows the plane to be remote controlled by the USA.

Re:Remote control? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 months ago | (#45735745)

Plus, if I were them, I'd be worried that the USA would insert a backdoor in the avionics that allows the plane to be remote controlled by the USA.

If they are procuring them with the hope of surviving any sort of even brief conflict with the US, they will be sadly disappointed no matter who they buy their jets from. A more troubling backdoor would be a listening post on each jet that scoops up data on to a drive in a secret compartment, which can then be downloaded by a CIA/NSA agent pretending to be a Boeing service tech.

Re:Remote control? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 months ago | (#45735789)

Plus, if I were them, I'd be worried that the USA would insert a backdoor in the avionics that allows the plane to be remote controlled by the USA.

If they are procuring them with the hope of surviving any sort of even brief conflict with the US, they will be sadly disappointed no matter who they buy their jets from. A more troubling backdoor would be a listening post on each jet that scoops up data on to a drive in a secret compartment, which can then be downloaded by a CIA/NSA agent pretending to be a Boeing service tech.

I wouldn't expect them to get into a direct conflict with the USA, but if they were in a conflict that the USA didn't want them to be in, or if they were interfering in a covert USA operation, the USA could ground their jets or enforce a "no fly" zone purely in software.

Re:Remote control? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 months ago | (#45735791)

"Motti: Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they've obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it.

Vader: Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force."

Sometimes it's more about resisting than conquest.

Re:Remote control? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 months ago | (#45735837)

"Motti: Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they've obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it.

Vader: Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force."

Sometimes it's more about resisting than conquest.

And the power of religion?

Re:Remote control? (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | about 4 months ago | (#45736027)

Not necessarily. The same could be said for the power of experience, leadership, morale, training or logistical support. The US military is neither Jedi nor Sith but they are pretty well led, trained and supported. Having the biggest guns does nothing to help you when you pull the trigger and it goes 'click' because you're out of bullets, didn't maintain it or forgot to flip the safety.

Re:Remote control? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735849)

If they are procuring them with the hope of surviving any sort of even brief conflict with the US, they will be sadly disappointed no matter who they buy their jets from.

Not in this day and age.

The F15 is a cold war antique. The F18 is getting long in the tooth. The F22 is a flaky bitch and we don't have enough of them anyway to make a difference. And the F35 is nothing but defense contractor welfare.

If things keep going the way they are going, we, the US, will be buying jets from the EU.

Re:Remote control? (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 4 months ago | (#45736105)

The F-18 Super Hornet is a whole new beast. It's not long in the tooth at all, and the only reason it shares a designation with the original Hornet is political. They wanted to avoid the "new plane" procurement nightmare.

Re:Remote control? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735865)

No need. There's enough satellite observation, and penetration of ground based communications, that the command structure of Brazil's military is fairly well exposed. Why bother tracking the plane when you can read the attack plans years in advance?

Re:Remote control? (0)

cusco (717999) | about 4 months ago | (#45736239)

A US invasion of any Latin American country larger than Costa Rica would make our current decade-long fiasco in Afghanistan look like a walk in the park. The US could invade all right, but hold on to that territory? Much less make a profit off the project? No, not hardly, and the Fifth Column that would appear overnight among the US Latino population would terrify even the Pentagon brass.

Re:Remote control? (0)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about 4 months ago | (#45735899)

So THAT'S what really happened on 9/11! The government remote controlled the planes into the buildings and then remote detonated explosives inside!

Re:Remote control? (4, Interesting)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about 4 months ago | (#45736017)

If that is their worry, then buying any NATO countries produce would not help them. AFAIK The SAAB Gripens use American engines, avionics and components. Apart from the airframe and the final country of assembly (and some local parts), they are not really making much a difference as far trust of the hardware goes.

If that was the real worry, then you'd have to buy someone elses (probably Russian), but they went out of the race a while ago.

Re:Remote control? (1)

Arker (91948) | about 4 months ago | (#45736189)

I was thinking along similar lines. The Gripen is a great aircraft, it compares very well to the competition, but we know Swedish Intelligence has been positively prostrate in terms of simply giving the NSA whatever they want and not even demanding anything in return, so I would not have any more faith in it not being compromised than I would the F18s (IIRC) they were thinking about buying from Boeing instead.

I think this is mostly a symbolic gesture though, and it may be effective in that sense. It signals potential competitors to the US arms industry around the world that the market is ripe for more competition.

Probably more to it (5, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#45735671)

Maybe the Saab is a better deal anyway, their latest plane is a newer design, and more agile.

Re:Probably more to it (3, Interesting)

CapeDoryBob (204240) | about 4 months ago | (#45735743)

Read the NY Times article. The SAAB is much cheaper to operate. Looking at it, I think of it as an updated Northrop F5.

Re:Probably more to it (1)

Brandano (1192819) | about 4 months ago | (#45736041)

Almost. I would place it roughly in the category of the F20 Tigershark, but with modernized avionics and greater weapon load and flexibility. It doesn't have a long range, but that only really becomes a problem when you are concerned with attack missions rather than defending your country.

Re:Probably more to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736247)

Argentina won't want to buy them to try and claim Las Malvinas as their own again then.

Re:Probably more to it (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about 4 months ago | (#45735831)

That's a good point. I remember building a model of the YF-17 (the forerunner of the F-18) when I was in junior high... in 1975... almost 40 years ago. However much lipstick you put on the pig, you can't get around the fact that it is a pretty old design.

Re:Probably more to it (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 4 months ago | (#45736089)

The Superhornet is largely a new airplane. It is only related to the original Hornet in name and shape.

Re: Probably more to it (4, Interesting)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 4 months ago | (#45735895)

... and easier to maintain as well. The Saab Gripen is an awesome aircraft and a good choice. On the other hand the Gripens do still have lots of US parts in them so it's not as if US companies don't stand to gain, they'll just gain less. Theoretically the USA can even veto the sale because of the US parts in the Gripen if they want to be really petty about this and piss the Brazilians off even more. The most delicious part of this development (from the point of view of Airbus, EADS, Sukhoi, Dassault et al) is that Boeing, a long time beneficiary of US government sponsored industrial espionage, has been hosted by it's own petard for a change.

Re: Probably more to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736073)

I believe so too, JAS Gripen squadrons have impressive results from Red Flag
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Flag_exercise

GOOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735737)

Let them suffer a bit. In a world where individuals can be fired from their jobs with no recourse at all, it's only fair that a corporation (that's also a "person", right?) be treated the same. Of course, Boeing will find a way to manipulate the enormous government bureaucracy to make more money anyways... but that's another story.

Re:GOOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736125)

Let them suffer a bit. In a world where individuals can be fired from their jobs with no recourse at all, it's only fair that a corporation (that's also a "person", right?) be treated the same. Of course, Boeing will find a way to manipulate the enormous government bureaucracy to make more money anyways... but that's another story.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin have found a new revenue stream called cyberintelligence and they are milking it hard. You ought to see the television advertisements crowing about Lockheed Martin's "we protect our troops and the homeland everyday." When a country starts referring to its as "the homeland' is "motherland" and/or "fatherland" far behind?

FRA (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735773)

I don't get it, FRA works for NSA so what's the difference?

Re:FRA (1)

znrt (2424692) | about 4 months ago | (#45735925)

I don't get it, FRA works for NSA so what's the difference?

demagogism, demagoguism, demagogy
- the art and practice of gaining power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people. Also demagoguery.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/demagogy [thefreedictionary.com]

that you even have to ask shows how good they're at it.

Children at the NSA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735833)

...didn't think about the consequences of their actions. All conspiracies are revealed because someone always talks. Ethics aside, the NSA should have been just as concerned about how the world would react. There will be much more blowback from the NSA's actions. We told the entire world that cyberwarfare is a go. Brazil can't do that much, so this is how they react. But we should be more concerned about technologically capable nations doing what we did to them to us. The irony is that they may have created the very situation they were trying to avoid with regards to cyberwarfare. Why do we keep doing this?

It's a chess game, and General Alexander is a poor chess player.

Not "US spying" - cost and technology... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735843)

Brazil has no real threats (as a Greek i wish we had the same situation as Brazil has), so the 36 (Swedish) Gripen (plus 50 -more or less- old but modernized American F5 that will use until 2040) are more than enough - plus, the Gripen is much cheaper to obtain and has half the operation cost per hour of the F18... plus, SAAB would transfer technology to the Brazilian Embraer.
And from what i know (few years now), it was the Gripen that was "considered the front runner" (not the F18) - mostly because that technology transfer.
This "US spying" thing has nothing to do with the decision - it's not even used as an excuse from the Brazilian government.

Pretty dumb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735869)

To put your national security at risk to make a political statement.

Also, Thanks again Snowden for costing the US economy $4.5 Billion. How does this help the American citizen again?

Re:Pretty dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735901)

Sup, cold fjord. Having to resort to sockpuppets these days?

Re:Pretty dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736173)

Shut up, bitch.

Aircraft facts (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735927)

Just for info : they have decided for the better plane.
The JAS SuperGrippen (Grippen NG) has a much larger ferry and combat range (twice as much as the F/A18), is a lot faster (Mach 2.2, even faster than the F35), more agile AND cheaper both in initial costs and per flight hour. It's comparable to the Eurofighter. Except that the JAS 39 NG has the much better radar.
It has a bit lower weapon payload, though (5.3 metric ton (JAS39) vs 6 metric ton (F/A18)). But for the cost of one american plane, you can buy two JAS39 and thus have air superiority.

Re:Aircraft facts (3, Interesting)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 4 months ago | (#45736145)

It's comparable to the Eurofighter. Except that the JAS 39 NG has the much better radar.

It's in no way comparable to the Eurofighter. The JAS aircraft actually works, it's not a political football, it's not a vast waste of scarce defence money and it is fit for purpose. The Eurofighter fits none of those criteria.

Official flight test results (Re:Aircraft facts) (2)

advid.net (595837) | about 4 months ago | (#45736171)

Just for info : they have decided for the better plane.

You forget the Rafale which is by far superior to the Gripen.

See Switzerland: they also have chosen the Gripen for political and price reason, even if it doesn't meet the military requirements!

End of page 2 [newsnetz.ch] :

The Gripen has been rated unsatisfactory in the accomplishment for Air-to-Air and Strike missions.
The Gripen obtained the 3rd rank in the evaluation of the effectiveness.
Based on flight test results, the Rafale is the candidate which fulfil all Swiss Air Force requirements and ended with the best score recommended as new fighter for the Swiss Air Force.

too bad it wont be enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735929)

to cause any change.. and to compensate and appease the company, the government will just award them an even larger amount of contracts for grossly overpriced goods and equipment.

falling in & out of beta with you... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45735989)

is there nothing i can do? this blog is on fire

Sanctions have started. (5, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | about 4 months ago | (#45736007)

The USA will eventually find itself alone, and without allies. And it's not just the spying, it's the drone attacks on soil with countries we are not at war with. Recently we blew up a wedding party in Yemen, killing over 13 which I'm sure included women and children. But oh no, we're not evil. We're the good guys. Uh huh.

Little by little, we are making enemies of the world, and until we change our ways, less and les of the world is going to want to do business with us because we have shown we're not trustworthy.

And to the poster who blames a 4.5 billion dollar loss on the economy to Ed Snowden, screw you. All Snowden did was CONFIRM what everyone knew already, but just couldn't prove. He will be shown to be a hero, this decade's Cindy Sheehan.

We are in the wrong, but people who wrap themselves in the flag are unwilling to admit it. And until we learn to act a little more humble, we're going to see more of this. We're making the typical over-exaggerated gestures of a failed empire. And as things get worse here, we're trying to take the rest of the world down with us.

Re:Sanctions have started. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736227)

He will be shown to be a hero, this decade's Cindy Sheehan.

Maybe, but he had better hope not like Cindy Sheehan.

As soon as Bush was out of office and the war was being run by Obama, ol' Cindy got kicked to the curb. When was the last time most Americans heard of her?

She was used as a pawn of the anti-war movement. We need to make sure Snowden isn't treated the same by the anti-Statist movement.

And more to come (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 months ago | (#45736023)

I remember my first comment about this sort of thing on here so long ago. I said it would affect US business and many people said it was impossible that US industries and technologies were too entrenched. Amazing. I almost wish I was wrong. But we can add one more large business to the list of businesses lobbying to stop the NSA. I hope they act quickly enough.

This is not about spying or the best technology (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736033)

This is not just a response to the NSA leaks. Everyone spies, we all know that.

The problem is American exceptionalism. No, not because we think that (every nation does), but because we can't shut up about it. The image we project is of spoiled kids, arrogant and rotten to the core. We shove our defensiveness in everyone's faces, and that makes America a very bad salesperson. We are the tight-ass at Macy's who thinks his feces doesn't stink, and won't even pay you any attention because you have the wrong shoes. No on wants to deal with that.

This isn't about who has the best warplanes. This is diplomacy. This is business. This is about saving face and national egos. It's about time we learned a little finesse in this area. It's something the Chinese do exceptionally well.

Re:This is not about spying or the best technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736131)

>The problem is American exceptionalism.

American exceptionalism does not exist. It's not inherent. You like to bully other countries. But you don't have any natural extra/exceptional rights.

> No, not because we think that (every nation does)

Wrong. Only the US thinks such a thing exists. Every other country dislikes you for such arrogance.

> but because we can't shut up about it.

You should. Really.

>This isn't about who has the best warplanes.

Except that the Grippen IS indeed better.

Re:This is not about spying or the best technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736193)

>American exceptionalism does not exist. It's not inherent,

Of course it doesn't. I'm talking about it as a social concept.

>Only the US thinks such a thing exists.

I'm an immigrant, and I've also spent time in other countries. It exists. Thinking your country doesn't do it on some level, whatever country that may be, is itself a form of "exceptionalist" thinking, isn't it?

Re:This is not about spying or the best technology (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 4 months ago | (#45736233)

Name me one other country in our same position who wouldn't bully other countries. Name me one country that would have as much of a history, for good or ill, of at being somewhat restrained in our use of power?

Russia, China?

This is only one tree in a big forest (0, Troll)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 4 months ago | (#45736043)

The larger impact of all of this NSA spying is going to be pushing countries like Colombia and Brazil over the edge, where they will distance themselves from the US and align instead with Bolivarian Socialist states in SA.

Brazil has already been moving that way for some time, but this may be the final nail in the coffin for any hope of avoiding becoming another despotic socialist state.

Re:This is only one tree in a big forest (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736215)

I live in Brazil and you couln't be more wrong. We have a consolidated democracy and will elect a new president in 2014 (and governors), it's that simple. Yes, we do have a massive income distribution program, but it's not used politically as much as it have could been.

Respect for Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45736109)

I never gave any thoughts to Brazil. It was some far away country in South America with probably a bunch of poor people and a bad government as we generally think all 3rd world countries have. But they're gaining my respect the more I hear about them in the news.

Vindication tastes like ashes in your mouth... (4, Insightful)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 4 months ago | (#45736157)

"The NSA problem ruined it for the Americans," a Brazilian government source said on condition of anonymity.

A U.S. source close to the negotiations said that whatever intelligence the spying had delivered for the American government was unlikely to outweigh the commercial cost of the revelations.

"Was that worth 4 billion dollars?" the source asked.

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