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  • JSF - Dutch Waffle Disease Spreads
    Posted by Bill Sweetman 12:28 PM on May 27, 2009

    Following the Dutch decision to defer final selection of a new fighter until 2012 - the other side of the country's next elections - Denmark appears to be following suit, and a political controversy appears to be building in Norway over the government's damning dismissal of the rival Saab Gripen NG in November.

    Denmark's defense minister Soren Gade told parliamentary auditors last week that the country would not sign a contract for a new fighter until 2012, and then only at a fixed price, according to national news agency Ritzau. Denmark is still looking at the Gripen NG and the Boeing Super Hornet as well as the JSF. 

    Meanwhile, in Norway, the right-wing Progress Party is now criticizing its "red-green" coalition rivals for the November decision, saying that it was no more than a rubber stamp for a decision that had already been taken. "The government fooled the Swedes and the Norwegian people into believing that this was a real competition", party founder Carl Hagen has said.

    In upcoming hearings, the Progress Party faction hopes to send the JSF decision back to the government, calling for a "much better and more thoroughly worked out and more responsible decision".  The party may hope to form an alliance with the socialist SV party, which also favored a non-US solution but was steamrollered by its center-left coalition partners in November. 

    None of this means that the nations are likely to buy Gripens or Hornets any time soon, and the JSF remains the leading contender as long as it lives up to its promises. However, it should be remembered that none of these countries was even considered in play for potential rivals until 2007, and that all three were key targets for Lockheed Martin's proposed multi-year, fixed-price procurement plan. 

    Tags: ar99, jsf, norway, denmark

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