Argentina wants 24 Gripen NG “USAN”

Gripen test platform NG with new droptanks . Photo by Stefan Kalm/ Saab.

Gripen test platform NG with new droptanks . Photo by Stefan Kalm/ Saab.

Days away from the second round of the Brazilian Presidential elections the government manages to sign an aerospace industrial co-operation agreement with Argentina. This includes the intention of the southern neighbors to buy 24 Saab Gripen NG fighters. That is to say the Gripen that is to be produced to 80 percent on Brazilian soil. This raises the dilemma if increased sharing can lead to boosted vending and occupation.

The contract for the Brazilian acquisition of 36 Gripen NG is to be signed by December and one of the main reasons that Brazil chose the Swedish fighter is the almost total transference of technology. In return, the South American giant spoke of great expansion possibilities for Saab on both the Latin American market as well as other allied nations, such as the other BRICS-countries. Accordingly, Argentina might just be the first in line to a large-scale expansion, or perhaps inclusion.

The reason that the Defense Ministers had gotten together on Tuesday (October, 21st) in the interior of the state of São Paulo was to celebrate the launch of the cargo plane KC-390. The aircraft was projected by the Brazilian Armed Forces and produced by the national aeronautics company Embraer in cooperation with Argentina, Portugal and the Czech Republic.

 

The Defense Ministers of Argentina and Brazil, Agustín Rossi and Celso Amorim, signing the agreement of expansion of joint projects in the aeronautical sector.

The Defense Ministers of Argentina and Brazil, Agustín Rossi and Celso Amorim, signing the agreement of expansion of joint projects in the aeronautical sector.

“The investments made to produce the KC-390 pieces in the Argentinian factory in Córdoba were fundamental to revitalize the aeronautics industry in our country”, the Argentinian Defense minister Agustín Rossi declared at the event.

Hopes of shared production

In the press release that the Brazilian government issued it is stated that ”the conditions for the acquisition, as well as the possible Argentinian participation of the production of these planes, will be detailed during the following months, between representatives from both countries.”

The expectations in Argentina have sky rocketed with the news. Having an updated aerospace industry and a successful collaboration with Brazil in a moment of deep economic crisis creates hope. Both in media and aerospace industrial forums online Argentinians are discussing how this might be the beginning of a Gripen NG “USAN” (The Union of South American Nations/ Spanish: Unión de Naciones Suramericanas, UNASUR) where not only Brazil and Argentina might be co-producers in developing Saab’s fighter, but maybe even more of the sister nations around the continent.

On the other hand, it was quite a large leap for the Swedish Defense and Security company Saab to agree to the technology transfer demanded by Brazil. “Perhaps the technology can be considered “open” with the contract that is to be signed and therefore it might be eligible to spread. However, I do not believe that the transfer will continue over to Argentina. The Swedish and Brazilian Alliance should be sufficient to simply sell the fighters to third-party buyers” according to Oscar Jansson PhD-Candidate at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, in an interview with Cecilia Vaccari.

Political advantages

The Brazilian Defense Minister, Celso Amorim underlined that “These last 12 years with Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva and Néstor Kirchner as Presidents, and later Dilma Rousseff and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, have been the most fruitful in the bilateral relationship.”

Undoubtedly, the agreement between the two countries implies in expanded industries, work for the people as well as appropriation and exchange of new technology. As a bonus it might just give President Dilma Rousseff the lift she needs to defeat her rival in the elections on Sunday (October 26th). In light of the bad finances in the country she needs to prove to the Brazilians that she can in fact offer a bright future. Maybe it will even save President Kirchner from her all time low popularity figures before it is time for the Argentinian elections in a year from now. But if both strike out and the plans are dropped, they will without a doubt take the Saab stock with them in the plunge.

 

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In the backwater of a suspected submarine

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The initial observation of what is believed to be a submarine in Stockholm’s archipelago.

There is no matter of telling whether the suspected submarine in the Swedish capital’s archipelago ever existed. But less than a week away from the first alarm there are major changes being plotted both in Swedish politics and economics. The possible effects include an increased Defense budget, updated arguments in the debate regarding Sweden’s joining Nato and a strengthened Saab stock.

The new Swedish government is lead by the Social Democrats aka “the Workers Party” because of their close ties to the labor unions. They announced during Tuesday, Oct. 21st, that they will most probably increase the Defense budget more than projected in light of the suspected submarine. The economic plan for the coming years is to be presented Thursday, a little more than a month after the election results. It will most probably mean a u-turn from the latest 20 years of cutbacks on the Defense budget.

This chain of events is similar to what happened in October of 1982 when the legendary Social Democratic Prime Minister Olof Palme took office. A suspected submarine was spotted in Stockholm’s archipelago. The Cold War panic gripped the Swedes instantly since a Russian submarine had run aground the year before. Consequently, the Marine got a substantial increase in their budget. However, the aftermath of the suspected submarine that was never confirmed in the 80’s include claims from Nato officers that the submarine was in fact one of theirs.

 

Nato debate ignited

Sweden’s joining Nato has long been debated but so far the public opinion is against it. Nonetheless Sweden is represented in more than 150 Nato committees. Now that the fear of a new Cold War has been ignited it is possible that the people change their mind.

During Tuesday the Swedish Navy’s Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad criticized that any nation would spy on another one. This is a questionable comment bearing in mind that the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) was a key partner in the NSA global mass surveillance scandal.

 

Stock market heating up

One of the priorities for the new minority government of Social Democrats and Greens is to revive the Swedish industry. Before any answers have been produced from the country’s army the investors on the Swedish stock market are rushing to buy the Swedish defense and Security company Saab’s stocks. Stefan Cederberg, Stock Analyst at the Swedish bank SEB, told the financial paper Dagens industry: “Discussions in news papers, media and generally reminds us of the need of an increased Defense budget. This will innately benefit a company like Saab.”

 

The legacy of an unidentified object

By the end of Tuesday, October 21st, the best tips the Swedish Army have received in the submarine chase are observations from the public. More than 200 troops on various vehicles have not found a single trace of the suspected submarine that was spotted last Friday, October 17th. But before a whole week has elapsed the consequences of the suspicious object will be a definite heritage in the new government’s budget.

 

 

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Expert comment prior to Brazilian Presidential elections

Six minutes feel lika a wink of an eye when speaking about Brazilian politics. This interview was broadcast live on Swedish National Television’s (SVT) morning show Gomorron Sverige on October 3rd, 2014.

 

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Welcome!

Welcome to my new blog. To be able to produce the best stories I need you people out there in the world to tell me what is going on of interest or what you would like to know more about.

First and foremost I am interested in any kind of investigative story with connections to Sweden. Large or small companies, NGO:s or even individuals who by their behavior can be of interest to the Swedish population. Aside from that I am always on the lookout for the little person who can tell the big picture. Give me ideas about everything: the elections in Brazil, Colombia or new research from Tierra del Fuego that can change the world. I will love to hear from you. Tell me what you want to see on TV. Mail me at ceciliajournalist (at) gmail.com.

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