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F-104 and the bags of gold

Lascaris

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So lets say someone in Lockheed's marketing staff takes a seriously wrong turn in lte 1958 and you have a fully blown bribes scandal before he German decision to uy F-104G. With it go F-104G's chances of being selected. The NATO countries and Japan still need a new fighter though so who is going to benefit the most? Super Tiger looks a natural enough choice for Canada and Japan and probably also Germany (assuming the Germans still want to go American for political reasons) but what about Italy and the smaller European countries like Belgium and the Netherlands?
 

lastdingo

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Mirage III was an obvious choice, its long runway requirements being the main problem. Belgium even eventually bought Mirages.

Super Tiger wasn't in production, and this was a major drawback. Mirage customers could also have opted for the J79 engine to satisfy friendship with France AND the USA.


Eventually, the F-5 was the best choice, but that wasn't understood in time. Vietnam first had to deliver evidence about the importance of LOS air combat, including guns. Air forces of the 60's were still too much focused on nuke delivery (including the Luftwaffe).
 

Ifor

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I've heard bits and pieces about bribe issues surrounding the F104, wasn't there similar concerns with the F111? Is anyone aware of any books covering these issues. If the scandal had come to light, would it have possibly affected the cancellation of the SARO 177?
 

alertken

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On F-104 just search F-J Strauss, Prince Bernhardt, and PM Tanaka. Be glad you are not a senior marketing executive addressing terra incognita. It is entirely possible that Agents and their fees were unnecessary. Entire Cabinets, not a couple of suborned individuals, were involved in the definition of the Task. In NATO, 1959, that emerged as Zipper nuclear strike, in, out and away. For 1970s it was presumed that runways would not be available, so V/STOL seemed to be the long term solution - FRG at one time had 36 project schemes. But for 1962-70 something was needed that could be built by the renewed FRG/Italian industry, which was merely assembling F-84F/F-86D/K. US DoD had not yet settled on (tobe) F-4C, so some low-risk derivative of something was needed.

So, forget SR.177, which was unfit for the Task. Rapid climb-to-height interception was not what was sought. Mirage III was a candidate but then as now France had a distinctive notion of collaboration. It was Super Tiger or a modest role change on F-104C. Simples. So if the bribery had emerged earlier: Super Tiger (except, of course, that Grumman had no more experience of selling in W.Europe, so they, too, had their Agents, doubtless adroit at the same game).
 

J.A.W.

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Lockheed's 'bags of gold' AFAIR, were not - in fact limited to the 'Widowmaker', - the Hercules/Orion went there too..

& didn't poor old E.E. try & interest the Germans in the Lightning, as they had run a few Brit fighters post-war..
 
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