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Wikileaks: sole-source route sought for F-16 fighter sale
The Diplomat ^ | 1/31/2011 | The Diplomat

Posted on 01/31/2011 9:19:52 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld

US defence business and Romanian officials sought a sole-source route for the sale of F-16s to Romania, according to a US Embassy cable released by Wikileaks from November 2007

As a condition of joining NATO in 2004, Romania needed to upgrade its Soviet-era MiG-21 Lancer Aircraft through purchasing a new air combat force, with the other major bidders including Sweden’s Saab-manufactured JAS 39 Gripen and the Italian-British-German-French Eurofighter Typhoon. The cable, attributed to then-US Ambassador to Romania Nicolas Taubman, stated that American aerospace company Lockheed Martin, along with “allies in the Presidency and Ministry of Defense” were seeking a ‘sole-source’ route to the fighter plane decision. The cable revealed American frustration with EU policy regarding open auctions, implying that US business preferred direct deals with central Government, rather than those which are based on free market principles. The cable alleged that Lockheed Martin and its Romanian ‘allies’ did not want to see the deal “tied up” in the Brussels bureaucracy by the F-16’s principal European competitors, Gripen and Eurofighter. “This was always going to be a tricky exercise, with an expectation that supporters of a European fighter option would loudly cry foul,” stated the cable.

(Excerpt) Read more at thediplomat.ro ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; f16; mig21; nato; romania

1 posted on 01/31/2011 9:19:54 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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