This time it's the latest of a multitude of set-backs and embarrassments for the JSF F-35 fighter program.
"We must continue to act like an honourable and elegant competitor" -US Oslo Embassy
According to the cables, Norway and the U.S. were both involved in a charade of pretending that Norway had an interest in purchasing Swedish SAAB "Gripen" fighters, whereas in reality Norway had already agreed to purchase the F-35s in a backroom deal.
“We must continue to act like an honourable and elegant competitor,” read a cable from the US embassy in Oslo.
At the time of Norway's decision former SAAB executive Jan Nygren was angered:
"We are really surprised about how this was handled, what happened yesterday, and about the justification," Jan Nygren, who served as Saab’s deputy CEO until two years prior to the decision, told the TT news agency at the time.
Gripen is a better fit for the functional demands laid out in the documentation
"And besides, we are just a tad surprised to say the least that they so unabashedly chose to criticize the Gripen, despite the fact that all of us involved know that the Gripen is a better fit for the functional demands laid out in the documentation included in the proposal request."
Obviously , the Swedes and SAAB may be considered biased about the suitability of the Gripen fighter over the F-35. However, on the surface it would appear that the Gripen, if equipped with a US-made AESA radar system, is at least capable of being in the conversation.
Oh and, by the way, Sweden recently offered 24 new Gripen fighters to Romania for $1.3 billion, the same price as Romania had agreed to pay the U.S. for used F-16 fighters.
Turns out that for the cost of a Stephen Harper G20 shindig, Canada could equip itself with fighter jets that could certainly do the job, or a large part of it. Then the $16 Bil for Lockheed Martin could be called what it is - an imperial levy.