Outlook: Raytheon missiles
Thursday 16 September 1999
First, if the Ministry of Defence does indeed decide that Raytheon's offer is too good to resist, it will in effect snuff out the competition from British Aerospace-Marconi, ensuring that the US retains a complete monopoly in advanced air-to-air missile technology.
Second, it will give the US Congress the whip-hand over future sales of the Eurofighter to third countries, since American approval will be required for the export of its missile hardware. In the event that the Eurofighter was in a straight dogfight with a US-built F-22 for a big overseas order, that could make for an interesting vote on Capitol Hill.
That said, the firepower in this defence procurement contest looks to be increasingly on the side of the Americans. The choice lies between buying an enhanced version of an existing US missile which will arm the Eurofighter initially anyway, or an all-new Anglo-French missile, which remains untried and untested.
The Eurofighter is itself already a fantastically expensive folly, having consumed pounds 30bn of British, German and Italian taxpayers' money to preserve a few thousand jobs in Wharton and elsewhere. Helping BAe finance the development of its Meteor missile to arm the aircraft, just to demonstrate that Europe retains a technological capacity of its own in this cutting edge area of weaponry, risks throwing good money after bad.
In any event, there is no immutable reason why Britain should insist on having its own proprietary technology in every branch of military procurement, particularly when the defence industry is becoming such a small world. Was it not the chief executive of BAe, John Weston, himself who ruffled European feathers at the Paris Airshow by setting out his vision of the global (ie transatlantic) defence company?
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Russell Brand accuses Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of a crying Orlando Bloom after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Air Algerie AH5017 crash: Jet fell 30,000 feet in three minutes ‘due to violent storm’
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...