Author Topic: Rajiv Gandhi was ‘entrepreneur’ for Swedish jet, U.S. cable says  (Read 2170 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

enrica

  • Guest
Rajiv Gandhi was ‘entrepreneur’ for Swedish jet, U.S. cable says

Murali N. Krishnaswamy

http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/01420/TH08_RAJIV__GANDHI_1420484g.jpg
A file photo of Rajiv Gandhi.

Revelation contained in Kissinger-era documents obtained by WikiLeaks

 Much before he became Prime Minister, during his years as an Indian Airlines pilot, Rajiv Gandhi may have been a middleman for the Swedish company Saab-Scania, when it was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to India in the 1970s.

The astonishing revelation that he was the “main Indian negotiator” for a massive aircraft deal for which his “family” connections were seen as valuable, is contained in the Kissinger Cables, the latest tranche of U.S diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and accessed by The Hindu as part of an investigative collaboration. The cables will be released on Monday.

The British SEPECAT Jaguar eventually won the race, from which Saab was forced to withdraw by the U.S.

Rajiv Gandhi, who kept away from politics until he was pushed into it by his mother Indira after the death of his brother Sanjay in 1980, came into public life with a squeaky clean image. Years later, a controversy over bribes paid in another military deal with a different Swedish company, Bofors, was to lead to Rajiv’s and the Congress’s defeat in the 1989 elections.

A series of 41 cables between 1974 and 1976 give glimpses into the “fighter sweepstakes” in India, with one wryly observing that the Swedish company had “understood the importance of family influences in the final decision in the fighter sweepstakes.”

Dassault, the French aircraft maker, too had figured this out. According to the cable, their negotiator for the Mirage fighter aircraft was the son-in-law of Air Marshal O.P. Mehra, then Air Chief.

An October 21, 1975 cable from the New Delhi U.S. Embassy (1975NEWDE14031_b, confidential) details information given to it by a diplomat in the Swedish Embassy. “Mrs Gandhi’s oler [sic] son’s only association with the aircraft industry (to our knowledge) has been as a pilot for Indian Airlines and this is the first time we have heard his name as entrepreneur.”

Having noted what the Swedes had said, the cable makes the comment that there was no additional information to either refute or confirm the information.

The cable goes on to say, “Mrs Gandhi (according to the Swedish info) has made the personal decision not to purchase the British Jaguar because of her prejudices against the British. The decision would be between the Mirage [Dassault Mirage F1] and the Viggen.”

Importance of ‘family’

In another cable (1976NEWDE01909_b, confidential), the Swedes also made it clear they “understood the importance of family influences” in the final decision. The cable adds: “Our colleague describes Ranjiv Gandhi [sic] in flattering terms, and contends his technical expertise is of a high level. This may or may not be. Offhand, we would have thought a transport pilot [is] not the best expert to rely upon in evaluating a fighter plane, but then we are speaking of a transport pilot who has another and perhaps more relevant qualification.”

The first cable adds that Air Marshal Mehra’s son-in-law was the chief negotiator for the competing Mirage, but it does not give his name.

Contacted in New Delhi, Navin Behl, the former Air Chief’s son-in-law, denied that he was ever involved in any such negotiations. “I was never an arms dealer. We’ve got nothing to do with it. I am a chartered accountant, [I was] practising then [in the 1970s], and now we're in the manufacture and export of home furnishings,” he told The Hindu.

The Swedish diplomat quoted in this cable said his country’s neutral position in world politics was offsetting the Viggen’s higher cost. The cable also records the official’s “irritation at the way Mrs Gandhi is personally dominating negotiations, without [the] involvement of Indian Air Force officers. According to him, negotiations with the Swedes are for 50 Viggen aircraft to be delivered at $4-5 million per aircraft with the Swedes believing that the Indians have made the decision not to purchase any more Soviet military aircraft.”

U.S. blocks deal

But Sweden had to do an abrupt about turn with what appears to be a bit of arm-twisting. An August 6, 1976 cable (1976STOCKH04230_b, secret) titled “Saab-Scania requests for U.S. permission to export Viggen and license to India” appears to confirm this with a blunt message: “The USG, after careful consideration, has concluded that no version of the Viggen containing any classified U.S. components would be acceptable for transfer to India. It would also oppose any transfer to India, for local production, of the advanced U.S. technology represented in the Viggen’s aerodynamic design, engine and flying controls, navigation system, electronic components and weapons systems.”

Another 1976 cable (1976STOCKH04231_b, secret) details the negative USG response to Saab-Scania president Curt Mileikowsky’s informal request for export of Viggen aircraft to India and licence to manufacture such aircraft to India. Senior Swedish officials have also emphasised “that [the] most important consideration to their government was preservation of cooperation with the U.S. on military R&D, which they recognised as vital to maintenance of a viable Swedish defence effort and that the sale of the Viggen to India was of secondary consideration to them in comparison with the value of military cooperation with the U.S.”

Scramble for contract


The earliest reference to the IAF upgrade plan is in a 1974 cable (1974LONDON00554_b, secret), which elaborates how the Indians had nearly completed negotiations for two Navy Corvettes and an unspecified number of Jaguar aircraft, though negotiations temporarily stalled because of the oil crisis.

India, according to the FCO South Asian Department head, had “expressed desire for [a] modest alternative to the Soviets as an arms supply source, and had begun discussions with the British early last summer.” The British were smelling a deal “in the neighbourhood of 30-35 million pounds, probably only the first tranche of an ongoing program which could reach 100-120 million pounds over a period of time.”

The Viggen pitch to India was of immense interest to the U.S. As one cable (1975STATE270066_b, secret) said, the aircraft “contains a large number of parts and components of U.S. origin which are therefore subject to USG control in third-party sales.”

Jaguar, meanwhile, was aggressively in the hunt. A November 19, 1975 cable (1975NEWDE15350_b, confidential), said: “London has now decided to offer the Government Of India a more favorable financing arrangement, 71/4 percent over five years, than was earlier the case. The GOI has asked for two percent over 15 years, but the British tell us this is impossible. The GOI still wants 40 aircraft to be delivered within 36 months. The original British offer was 60 months, but they are now talking in terms of 40 odd months.” The cable ends by saying that the final decision was expected to be political and made by the Prime Minister.

Another cable (1975PARIS33184_b confidential) details French concern that “Mrs Gandhi’s advance toward dictatorship is now irreversible, and that French Prime Minister Chirac was unhappy with the idea of appearing to condone this development through his official visit” but also nursed the hope that the visit would be able to improve sales prospects for the Mirage F-1.

By the next year, the French Embassy is convinced (1976NEWDE00845_b, confidential) that it is Prime Minister [Indira] Gandhi alone who will make the final decision, and it will be on political grounds. The Swedes are also pushing their product. The French believed that the Swedes had dropped their price and offered to take rupees in payment. They were seen as moving towards delivering the first 24 to 36 aircraft to India, with the next aircraft being assembled in India under licence.

This report has been corrected for a typographical error.

Keywords: Kissinger Cables, The Hindu, Henry Kissinger, Rajiv Gandhi, cable 1974LONDON00554_b, cable 1975STATE270066_b, cable 1975NEWDE15350_b, cable 1975PARIS33184_b, cable 1975NEWDE14031_b, cable 1976STOCKH04230_b, cable 1976STOCKH04231_b, cable 1976NEWDE00845_b, Viggen fighter aircraft, U.S diplomatic cables, Swedish jet, WikiLeaks


Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajiv-gandhi-was-entrepreneur-for-swedish-jet-us-cable-says/article4592091.ece?homepage=true

Offline Ajai Singh

  • Ajai Singh
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1041
  • Gender: Male
Rajiv Gandhi was ‘entrepreneur’ for Swedish jet, U.S. cable says
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 19:01:17 PM »
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajiv-gandhi-was-entrepreneur-for-swedish-jet-us-cable-says/article4592091.ece

KISSINGER CABLES
Rajiv Gandhi was ‘entrepreneur’ for Swedish jet, U.S. cable says
CHENNAI, April 8, 2013

Revelation contained in Kissinger-era documents obtained by WikiLeaks

Much before he became Prime Minister, during his years as an Indian Airlines pilot, Rajiv Gandhi may have been a middleman for the Swedish company Saab-Scania, when it was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to India in the 1970s.

The astonishing revelation that he was the “main Indian negotiator” for a massive aircraft deal for which his “family” connections were seen as valuable, is contained in the Kissinger Cables, the latest tranche of U.S diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and accessed by The Hindu as part of an investigative collaboration. The cables will be released on Monday.

The British SEPECAT Jaguar eventually won the race, from which Saab was forced to withdraw by the U.S.

Rajiv Gandhi, who kept away from politics until he was pushed into it by his mother Indira after the death of his brother Sanjay in 1980, came into public life with a squeaky clean image. Years later, a controversy over bribes paid in another military deal with a different Swedish company, Bofors, was to lead to Rajiv’s and the Congress’s defeat in the 1989 elections.

A series of 41 cables between 1974 and 1976 give glimpses into the “fighter sweepstakes” in India, with one wryly observing that the Swedish company had “understood the importance of family influences in the final decision in the fighter sweepstakes.”

Dassault, the French aircraft maker, too had figured this out. According to the cable, their negotiator for the Mirage fighter aircraft was the son-in-law of Air Marshal O.P. Mehra, then Air Chief.

An October 21, 1975 cable from the New Delhi U.S. Embassy (1975NEWDE14031_b, confidential) details information given to it by a diplomat in the Swedish Embassy. “Mrs Gandhi’s oler [sic] son’s only association with the aircraft industry (to our knowledge) has been as a pilot for Indian Airlines and this is the first time we have heard his name as entrepreneur.”

Having noted what the Swedes had said, the cable makes the comment that there was no additional information to either refute or confirm the information.

The cable goes on to say, “Mrs Gandhi (according to the Swedish info) has made the personal decision not to purchase the British Jaguar because of her prejudices against the British. The decision would be between the Mirage [Dassault Mirage F1] and the Viggen.”

Importance of ‘family’

In another cable (1976NEWDE01909_b, confidential), the Swedes also made it clear they “understood the importance of family influences” in the final decision. The cable adds: “Our colleague describes Ranjiv Gandhi [sic] in flattering terms, and contends his technical expertise is of a high level. This may or may not be. Offhand, we would have thought a transport pilot [is] not the best expert to rely upon in evaluating a fighter plane, but then we are speaking of a transport pilot who has another and perhaps more relevant qualification.”

The first cable adds that Air Marshal Mehra’s son-in-law was the chief negotiator for the competing Mirage, but it does not give his name.

Contacted in New Delhi, Navin Behl, the former Air Chief’s son-in-law, denied that he was ever involved in any such negotiations. “I was never an arms dealer. We’ve got nothing to do with it. I am a chartered accountant, [I was] practising then [in the 1970s], and now we're in the manufacture and export of home furnishings,” he told The Hindu.

The Swedish diplomat quoted in this cable said his country’s neutral position in world politics was offsetting the Viggen’s higher cost. The cable also records the official’s “irritation at the way Mrs Gandhi is personally dominating negotiations, without [the] involvement of Indian Air Force officers. According to him, negotiations with the Swedes are for 50 Viggen aircraft to be delivered at $4-5 million per aircraft with the Swedes believing that the Indians have made the decision not to purchase any more Soviet military aircraft.”

U.S. blocks deal

But Sweden had to do an abrupt about turn with what appears to be a bit of arm-twisting. An August 6, 1976 cable (1976STOCKH04230_b, secret) titled “Saab-Scania requests for U.S. permission to export Viggen and license to India” appears to confirm this with a blunt message: “The USG, after careful consideration, has concluded that no version of the Viggen containing any classified U.S. components would be acceptable for transfer to India. It would also oppose any transfer to India, for local production, of the advanced U.S. technology represented in the Viggen’s aerodynamic design, engine and flying controls, navigation system, electronic components and weapons systems.”

Another 1976 cable (1976STOCKH04231_b, secret) details the negative USG response to Saab-Scania president Curt Mileikowsky’s informal request for export of Viggen aircraft to India and licence to manufacture such aircraft to India. Senior Swedish officials have also emphasised “that [the] most important consideration to their government was preservation of cooperation with the U.S. on military R&D, which they recognised as vital to maintenance of a viable Swedish defence effort and that the sale of the Viggen to India was of secondary consideration to them in comparison with the value of military cooperation with the U.S.”

Scramble for contract

The earliest reference to the IAF upgrade plan is in a 1974 cable (1974LONDON00554_b, secret), which elaborates how the Indians had nearly completed negotiations for two Navy Corvettes and an unspecified number of Jaguar aircraft, though negotiations temporarily stalled because of the oil crisis.

India, according to the FCO South Asian Department head, had “expressed desire for [a] modest alternative to the Soviets as an arms supply source, and had begun discussions with the British early last summer.” The British were smelling a deal “in the neighbourhood of 30-35 million pounds, probably only the first tranche of an ongoing program which could reach 100-120 million pounds over a period of time.”

The Viggen pitch to India was of immense interest to the U.S. As one cable (1975STATE270066_b, secret) said, the aircraft “contains a large number of parts and components of U.S. origin which are therefore subject to USG control in third-party sales.”

Jaguar, meanwhile, was aggressively in the hunt. A November 19, 1975 cable (1975NEWDE15350_b, confidential), said: “London has now decided to offer the Government Of India a more favorable financing arrangement, 71/4 percent over five years, than was earlier the case. The GOI has asked for two percent over 15 years, but the British tell us this is impossible. The GOI still wants 40 aircraft to be delivered within 36 months. The original British offer was 60 months, but they are now talking in terms of 40 odd months.” The cable ends by saying that the final decision was expected to be political and made by the Prime Minister.

Another cable (1975PARIS33184_b confidential) details French concern that “Mrs Gandhi’s advance toward dictatorship is now irreversible, and that French Prime Minister Chirac was unhappy with the idea of appearing to condone this development through his official visit” but also nursed the hope that the visit would be able to improve sales prospects for the Mirage F-1.

By the next year, the French Embassy is convinced (1976NEWDE00845_b, confidential) that it is Prime Minister [Indira] Gandhi alone who will make the final decision, and it will be on political grounds. The Swedes are also pushing their product. The French believed that the Swedes had dropped their price and offered to take rupees in payment. They were seen as moving towards delivering the first 24 to 36 aircraft to India, with the next aircraft being assembled in India under licence.

Offline Ajai Singh

  • Ajai Singh
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1041
  • Gender: Male
Re: Rajiv Gandhi was ‘entrepreneur’ for Swedish jet, U.S. cable says
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 19:04:53 PM »
https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1975NEWDE14031_b.html

SWEDISH NEGOTIATIONS WITH INDIANS ON VIGGEN AIRCRAFT

Date:1975 October 21, 12:25 (Tuesday)   Canonical ID:1975NEWDE14031_b

Original Classification:CONFIDENTIAL   Current Classification:UNCLASSIFIED
Handling Restrictions:-- N/A or Blank --   Character Count:1914
Executive Order:GS   Locator:TEXT ON MICROFILM,TEXT ONLINE
TAGS:FR - France | IN - India | MASS - Military and Defense Affairs--Military Assistance and Sales | PFOR - Political Affairs--Foreign Policy and Relations | SW - Sweden | UK - United Kingdom   Concepts:AIRCRAFT SALES | NEGOTIATIONS

Enclosure:-- N/A or Blank --   Type:TE
Office Origin:-- N/A or Blank --
Office Action:ACTION NEA   Archive Status:Electronic Telegrams
From:India New Delhi   Markings:Margaret P. Grafeld Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 06 JUL 2006
To:China United States Liaison Office Peking | Commander in Chief US Pacific Command | Defense Intelligence Agency | Department of State | France Paris | MOSSOW | Sweden Stockholm | United Kingdom London   


1. SWEDISH EMBOFF HAS INFORMED US THAT MAIN INDIAN NEGOTIATOR
WITH SWEDES ON VIGGEN AT NEW DELHI END HAS BEEN MRS. GANDHI'S
OLER SON, RAJIV GANDHI. LATTER'S ONLY ASSOCIATION WITH
AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY (TO OUR KNOWLEDGE) HAS BEEN AS PILOT
FOR INDIAN AIRLINES AND THIS IS FIRST TIME WE HAVE HEARD
HIS NAME AS ENTREPRENEUR.

2. SWEDISH EMBOFF SAYS THAT DASSAULT HAS SON-IN-LAW
OF INDIAN AIR MARSHALL MEHRA AS ITS CHIEF NEGOTIATOR FOR
MIRAGE SALE.
MRS. GANDHI (ACCORDING TO SWEDISH INFO) HAS MADE PERSONAL DECI-
CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02  NEW DE 14031  211535Z

SION NOT TO PURCHASE BRITISH JAGUAR BECAUSE OF HER PREJUDICES
AGAINST BRITISH. DECISION WOULD BE BETWEEN MIRAGE AND VIGGEN. THE
SWEDISH DIPLOMAT SAID THAT SWEDEN'S NEUTRAL POSITION IN WORLD POLI-
TICS IS OFFSETTING VIGGEN'S HIGHER COST. HE EXPRESSED
IRRITATION AT THE WAY MRS. GANDHI IS PERSONALLY DOMINATING NE-
GOTIATIONS, WITHOUT INVOLVEMENT OF INDIAN AIR FORCE OFFICERS.

3. ACCORDING TO SWEDISH EMBOFF, NEGOTIATIONS WITH SWEDES ARE
FOR 50 VIGGEN AIRCRAFT TO BE DELIVERED AT $4-5 MILLION PER
AIRCRAFT* SWEDES BELIEVE INDIANS HAVE MADE DECISION NOT TO
PURCHASE ANY MORE SOVIET MILITARY AIRCRAFT.

4. DAO COMMENT: DAO HAS NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO EITHER
REFUTE OR CONFIRM THE ABOVE INFORMATION.
SAXBE


CONFIDENTIAL




NNN

Offline Ajai Singh

  • Ajai Singh
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1041
  • Gender: Male
Re: Rajiv Gandhi was ‘entrepreneur’ for Swedish jet, U.S. cable says
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 19:07:06 PM »
https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1976NEWDE01909_b.html

SWEDES SEE VIGGEN AGAIN ACTIVE COMPETITOR

Date:1976 February 6, 12:37 (Friday)   Canonical ID:1976NEWDE01909_b

Original Classification:CONFIDENTIAL   Current Classification:UNCLASSIFIED
Handling Restrictions:-- N/A or Blank --   Character Count:3535
Executive Order:X1   Locator:TEXT ON MICROFILM,TEXT ONLINE
TAGS:IN - India | MASS - Military and Defense Affairs--Military Assistance and Sales | PFOR - Political Affairs--Foreign Policy and Relations | SW - Sweden | US - United States   Concepts:FIGHTER AIRCRAFT | MILITARY SALES | NEGOTIATIONS
Enclosure:-- N/A or Blank --   Type:TE

Office Origin:-- N/A or Blank --
Office Action:ACTION NEA   Archive Status:Electronic Telegrams
From:India New Delhi   Markings:Margaret P. Grafeld Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 04 MAY 2006
To:Commander in Chief US Pacific Command | Defense Intelligence Agency | Department of State | France Paris | Pakistan Islamabad | Russia Moscow | Sweden Stockholm | United Kingdom London   


1. THE SWEDES HERE ARE ONCE AGAIN OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THEIR
CHANCES OF SELLING THE VIGGEN TO THE INDIAN AIR FORCE.
THE SAAB SCANIA SALES MANAGER AND THE CHIEF TECHNICAL
ADVISOR, THE FORMER ACTING COMMANDER OF THE SWEDISH AIR
FORCE, RETURNED TO NEW DELHI TEN DAYS AGO FOR CONFERENCES
WITH THE INDIANS. THE TECHNICAL ADVISOR IS STILL HERE
AND WILL REMAIN AS LONG AS NECESSARY TO HANDLE QUESTIONS
FROM THE NEW INDIAN DEFENSE MINISTER AND NEW IAF CHIEF
OF THE STAFF, BOTH OF WHOM ACCORDING TO OUR SWEDISH
COLLEAGUE, REQUIRE TIME TO BRIEF THEMSELVES ON THE COMPETING
FIGHTERS.
CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02  NEW DE 01909  061554Z


2. THE SWEDES HERE EXPECT THAT THE IAF WILL SEND A TEST
PILOT TO SWEDEN TO FLY THE VIGGEN SINCE THE CURRENT MODELS
COMING OFF THE LINE ARE AIRWORTHY. HE TELLS US THE INDIANS
HAVE ACCEPTED THE EXPLANATION FOR THE WING STRUCTURAL DEFECT
WHICH TEMPORARILY GROUNDED THE EARLY MODELS.
3. THE SWEDES BELIEVE THEIR MOST TELLING POINT, HOWEVER,
IS THE LONGEVITY OF THE AIRCRAFT. THEY SAY THEY HAVE CON-
VINCED THE IAF THAT THE REPLACEABLE AVIONICS PACKAGES IN THE
VIGGEN RENDER IT CAPABLE OF PERIODIC MODERNIZATION WITH
THE RESULT THAT IT WILL BE VIABLE UNTIL 2000 (WHICH SOUNDS
A BIT FAR FETCHED TO US). OUR SWEDISH COLLEAGUE SAID THE
PROPOSAL CONTINUES TO BE THAT THE INDIANS BUILD THE AIRFRAMES
AND POSSIBLY SOME ENGINES OR ENGINE COMPONENTS, BUT THE
SWEDES PROVIDE THE AVIONICS. SINCE THE INDIANS WANT "THE
BEST", ACCORDING TO OUR SWEDISH CONTACT, THE IAF REGARDS THE
AVIONICS AS VITAL. MOREOVER, THE SWEDES WOULD NOT CONSIDER
SELLING THE VIGGEN WITHOUT THE "BLACK BOXES." THESE FACTORS,
THE SWEDES ASSERT, GO A LONG WAY TO OFFSET THE DISADVANTAGE
OF RELATIVELY HIGH INITIAL UNIT COST. ANOTHER INDUCEMENT,
AS SEEN BY THE SWEDES HERE, IS THAT SAAB SCANIA HAS COMPLETED
ITS SURVEY OF INDIAN EXPORTS AND CONCLUDED IT COULD MARKET
SEVERAL ITEMS IN SWEDEN OR THE WEST MAKING A BARTER TYPE
ARRANGEMENT AT LEAST FEASIBLE FROM THE SWEDISH POINT OF VIEW.

4. THE SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER IS DUE ON A VISIT TO NEW
DELHI CIRCA MARCH 1. THE SWEDES ARE BRACED FOR ANOTHER
INDIAN APPEAL FOR CREDIT WHICH OUR COLLEAGUE SAYS SWEDEN
WILL NOT GRANT, BUT HE DID SAY THE MINISTER WOULD STRONGLY
SUPPORT THE VIGGEN SALE. OUR COLLEAGUE WOULD NOT SAY WHAT
OTHER CONCESSIONS THE SWEDES MAY BE CONSIDERING.

5. THE SWEDES HERE HAVE ALSO MADE IT QUITE CLEAR THEY
UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY INFLUENCES IN THE FINAL
DECISION IN THE FIGHTER SWEEPSTAKES. OUR COLLEAGUE DESCRIBES
RANJIV GANDHI IN FLATTERING TERMS, AND CONTENDS HIS TECHNICAL
EXPERTISE IS OF A HIGH LEVEL. THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE. OFFHAND
WE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT A TRANSPORT PILOT NOT THE BEST EXPERT
TO RELY UPON IN EVALUATING A FIGHTER PLANE, BUT THEN WE ARE
SPEAKING OF A TRANSPORT PILOT WHO HAS ANOTHER AND PERHAPS
MORE RELEVANT QUALIFICATION.
CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03  NEW DE 01909  061554Z

SAXBE


CONFIDENTIAL




NNN

Offline Ajai Singh

  • Ajai Singh
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1041
  • Gender: Male
Re: Rajiv Gandhi was ‘entrepreneur’ for Swedish jet, U.S. cable says
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 19:09:18 PM »
https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1976STOCKH04230_b.html

SAAB-SCANIA REQUEST FOR U.S. PERMISSION TO EXPORT VIGGEN AND LICENSE TO INDIA

Date:1976 August 6, 14:37 (Friday)   Canonical ID:1976STOCKH04230_b

Original Classification:SECRET   Current Classification:UNCLASSIFIED
Handling Restrictions:EXDIS   Character Count:3738
Executive Order:GS   Locator:TEXT ON MICROFILM,TEXT ONLINE
TAGS:BEXP - Business Services--Trade Expansion and Promotion | IN - India | MASS - Military and Defense Affairs--Military Assistance and Sales | PFOR - Political Affairs--Foreign Policy and Relations | SAAB-SCANIA | SW - Sweden | US - United States   Concepts:CONSTRUCTION | END USE CHECKS | INDUSTRIAL PLANTS | MILITARY AIRCRAFT | SALES | STRATEGIC TRADE CONTROLS
Enclosure:-- N/A or Blank --   Type:TE

Office Origin:-- N/A or Blank --
Office Action:ACTION SS   Archive Status:Electronic Telegrams
From:Sweden Stockholm   Markings:Margaret P. Grafeld Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 04 MAY 2006
To:Australia Canberra | Austria Vienna | Department of State | India New Delhi | Pakistan Islamabad   


1.  IN RESPONSE TO MY REQUEST, SAAB-SCANIA PRESIDENT CURT
MILEIKOWSKY CALLED AT MY OFFICE THIS MORNING.  DRAWING
ON REFTEL, I INFORMED HIM THAT USG, AFTER CAREFUL
CONSIDERATION, HAS CONCLUDED THAT NO VERSION OF THE
VIGGEN CONTAINING ANY CLASSIFIED U.S. COMPONENTS WOULD
BE ACCEPTABLE FOR TRANSFER TO INDIA.  I SAID USG
WOULD ALSO OPPOSE ANY TRANSFER TO INDIA, FOR LOCAL
PRODUCTION, OF THE ADVANCED U.S. TECHNOLOGY REPRESENTED
IN THE VIGGEN'S AERODYNAMIC DESIGN, ENGINE AND FLYING
CONTROLS, NAVIGATION SYSTEM, ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS AND
WEAPONS SYSTEMS.  I SAID THAT ALTHOUGH A FORMAL USG
RESPONSE ON THIS ISSUE WOULD REQUIRE A FORMAL APPLICATION
BY GOS FOR REEXPORT OF U.S.-ORIGIN EQUIPMENT TO INDIA,
IN THE EVENT THE GOS WERE TO MAKE SUCH A REQUEST, A
NEGATIVE RESPONSE COULD BE ANTICIPATED.
SECRET

SECRET

PAGE 02        STOCKH 04230  070826Z


2.  ALTHOUGH MILEIKOWSKY WAS NOT SURPRISED AT OUR
RESPONSE, HE WAS CLEARLY DISAPPOINTED.  HIS INITIAL
REACTION WAS TO COMMENT THAT SWEDEN "MUST" SELL THE
VIGGEN ABROAD IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD CONTINUED
PRODUCTION OF THIS SOPHISTICATED WEAPONS SYSTEM.  HE
ASKED THE RHETORICAL QUESTION, "IF NOT TO INDIA, TO
WHOM CAN WE SELL THE VIGGEN?"  I REITERATED THAT USG
POLICY REMAINS THAT EACH REQUEST FROM A FOREIGN
GOVERNMENT FOR THE REEXPORT OF U.S.-ORIGIN EQUIPMENT
BE CONSIDERED ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS.  THEREFORE, IF
THE GOS AND SAAB-SCANIA WISHED TO MARKET THE VIGGEN
TO ANY OTHER COUNTRY, A FORMAL REQUEST SHOULD BE MADE
BY THE GOS AND IT WOULD BE GIVEN CAREFUL CONSIDERATION.

3.  CONTINUING, MILEIKOWSKY SAID THAT AUSTRIA WOULD BE A
POSSIBILITY AS A MARKET FOR THE VIGGEN, AND WONDERED
WHAT THE USG RESPONSE WOULD BE TO SALE OF THE VIGGEN TO
THAT COUNTRY.  I REPLIED THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR
THIS EMBASSY TO SPECULATE ON WHETHER EXPORT OF THE
VIGGEN TO AUSTRIA OR ANY COUNTRY WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE,
AND REPEATED AGAIN THE NECESSITY FOR THE GOS TO MAKE
FORMAL APPLICATION IF THIS WERE ITS INTENT.

4.  MILEIKOWSKY ALSO NOTED THAT DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE
VIGGEN HAD BEEN HELD WITH THE AUSTRALIANS.  HE SAID THE
AUSTRALIANS ARE INTERESTED, BUT FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF
YEARS WILL BE FOCUSING THEIR DEFENSE EFFORTS ON
DEVELOPMENT AND PURCHASE OF ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE
EQUIPMENT.  HOWEVER, MILEIKOWSKY CONTINUED, THE
AUSTRALIANS HAVE INDICATED THEY MIGHT BE INTERESTED
IN PURCHASE OF THE VIGGEN "IN TWO OR THREE YEARS."
HE NOTED THAT SWEDES HAD IN MIND A SPECIAL VERSION
OF THE VIGGEN, ADAPTED TO AUSTRALIAN NEEDS, IF THE
ORDER WERE OBTAINED.  I COMMENTED THAT WHILE I COULD
NOT PREDICT THE RESPONSE TO A SWEDISH REQUEST TO MARKET
THE VIGGEN TO AUSTRALIA, SPEAKING PERSONALLY, I FELT THAT
SOME OF THE OBJECTIONS PRESENT IN THE INDIAN CASE WOULD
NOT RPT NOT BE PERTINENT RE POSSIBLE SALES TO AUSTRALIA.
AGAIN I EMPHASIZED THAT EACH APPLICATION WOULD BE
CONSIDERED ON ITS OWN MERITS.
SECRET

SECRET

PAGE 03        STOCKH 04230  070826Z


5.  MILEIKOWSKY THANKED ME, AND SAID SAAB-SCANIA WOULD
HAVE TO COME UP WITH ALTERNATIVE MARKETS TO INDIA FOR
EXPORT OF THE VIGGEN.  I ASSURED HIM WE WOULD CONSIDER
ANY FORMAL APPLICATION BY THE GOS CAREFULLY.  WE WILL
ALSO NOTIFY THE MFA OF US DECISION.
SMITH

NOTE BY OC/T: NOT PASSED ABOVE ADDRESSEES.

SECRET




NNN