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Subject: Saab Korea raided by prosecutors over KFX secret leak.
SlowMan    10/5/2009 9:50:09 AM
 
"[Exclusive] Swedish Firm Probed Over Fighter Development Plan
 
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/upload/news/091005_p01_swedish.jpg" alt="" width="450" border="0" />

A model of the KF-X fighter jet

By Jung Sung-ki
Staff Reporter

Saab, a Swedish defense firm, is being investigated here over alleged illegal lobbying of a defense research institute affiliated with the National Assembly regarding a South Korean fighter development program, sources said Monday.

Prosecutors recently raided both the firm's branch office and the headquarters of the Security Management Institute (SMI) in southern Seoul to seize documents and computer files as part of its three-month investigation into their alleged connection, the sources said.

Prosecutors have also traced the bank accounts of Saab officials and the SMI president to uncover alleged financial transactions between the two sides, they said.

SMI has served as an influential research agency regarding major South Korean arms acquisition and development programs since it was established as an advisory agency to the Assembly in 2005.

It was also designated by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration last October as an agency for studying weapons programs, cost analyses and defense technology development plans.

"The prosecution has almost completed its investigation of Saab and SMI and is closely analyzing confiscated material," a source told The Korea Times on condition of anonymity.

"It is a rare and intensive probe into a foreign defense firm and is expected to affect future arms improvement programs involving foreign manufacturers, depending on the results," he said.

Prosecutors said SMI was suspected of having offered classified information on the KF-X indigenous fighter development program to Saab or written up parliamentary documents on the KF-X partnership in favor of the Swedish company, in return for compensation.

A Saab official declined to comment on the issue, while an SMI representative denied the allegation and argued the investigation was merely a routine inspection of the parliamentary advisory institute.

"This incident may deal a blow to Saab in its ongoing and future businesses," the source said, adding the firm is considering cancelling its participation in the Seoul Air Show slated for Oct. 20 to 25.

In a related move, the Defense Security Command investigated the state-funded Agency for Defense Development earlier this year over a possible information leak to Saab, which was conducting a joint feasibility study on key arms development programs.

Saab has engaged in various weapons procurement projects in the country, such as the integration of a naval radar system and the export of its artillery-detecting radar system.

The KF-X project, aimed at creating an indigenous combat aircraft in partnership with a foreign aircraft giant to replace the Air Force's older F-4s and F-5s, has drawn proposals from major Western fighter houses.

Saab has been among the most active bidders by offering a new design for a super-cruising stealth fighter. It also asked South Korea to join its Gripen next-generation program to forge a broader fighter development partnership.
 
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SlowMan       10/16/2009 10:02:14 AM
 
I am not sure if this "secret leak" case is serious, since this ex-general working as a consultant for Saab took his secrets from the military university library(Obviously you don't keep highly classified material in the library). In reality this appears to be a retaliation into an earlier KFX viability report for which he wrote to endorse Gripen NG derivative as the most viable option.
 
The Airforce absolutely doesn't want a single-engined fighter and is trying to "clean the house" of single engine bid supporters, such as F-50, F-35, and Gripen NG, before the official bidding for KFX begins. That would narrow the bid down between modified Super Hornet, Typhoon, and "F-100"(Basically a twin-engined F-50)
 
No update on rumors of Boeing IDS raid yet.
 
 
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RedParadize    Lobbying ? No Realy?   10/16/2009 10:22:50 AM
Even if its a serious accusation, I wont be surprise if they drop accusation, None want a big scandal.
 
Lobbying not new in the Military industry. Every major player spend allot of money on it. Saab and the Swedish just got caught.
 
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SlowMan       10/16/2009 10:45:43 AM
@ RedParadize

> Even if its a serious accusation, I wont be surprise if they drop accusation, None want a big scandal.

Actually there is a massive investigation into a variety of defense contracts ongoing right now, everything from fighters, howitzers, CIWS, radars, submarine combat system, even military rations. It's supposed to be "the annual house cleaning time" or something like that.
 
> Lobbying not new in the Military industry. Every major player spend allot of money on it. Saab and the Swedish just got caught.

I don't think Saab was at fault. All they did was to hire an ex-airforce general as consultant, and Saab would not have known how he came up with his "detailed" insider reports, which was supposed to be put together by browsing military publications from the military university's library.

Again, this case really isn't about Saab stealing classified sensitive material or anything like that, but the Airforce trying to suppress lobbies for single-engined bids by Saab and Lockheed Martin.

I keep repeating how F-35 had no chance in Korean market because of Airforce's profound hatred for single-engined fighters, and this is the proof, an ex-general getting prosecuted on frivolous "spying" charges because he wrote a report to endorse a small single-engined fighter under the supposed "Saab influences".
 
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sentinel28a       10/16/2009 3:19:00 PM
Whatever the case, I have to say that is a very nice looking fighter!
 
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