Hey folks, let's be reasonable about all this before flaming over an article in "The Register" [WTF is that anyway?].
Let's examine the facts:
1. The Saudi Government system can be smelt from Cyprus.
2. The UK Government can be smelt from Brussels.
3. The US Aerospace Industry wants to dominate the Planet, and smells like nothing else on Earth.
4. Oh, yes .. and the "War on Terror", which can be brought into play as the ultimate wild-card in any argument from either side of the Atlantic.
I do agree with one poster on The Register, who noted that US aerospace [Boinnnggg] is pi66ed off because Airbus got the KC-135 replacement order.
Isn't the free market a bitch ... I bet Boinnnggg never got any Government support in the past either
I say sell them what they want. The Saudi AF are largely run and manned by BAE anyway; that's what Al-Yabananamarama was all about. The Tornados were just window dressing; BAE made most of their money running the show for the locals, presumably with lots of ex-crab personnel. If they start playing silly buggers all their maintainers will sod off home and BAE will wash their hands of it. Sounds like money for old rope to me. If it wasn't BAE it would have been Boinnnggg or Dassault or some other usual suspect.
I also noted this:
El Reg said:
All that to one side, today's news at the very least appears to have finally destroyed the concept of "appropriate sovereignty" which underpins the current British Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS). The thinking here is that Blighty will pay increased prices for less-capable military kit made partly in the UK, rather than buying cheaper and better gear from abroad. Equipment such as Eurofighter may cost more and do less, but - so goes the reasoning - at least we won't have to ask the Yanks for tech support all the time.
Andy Pipkin links to a little more authoritative piece - although it appears that it is just journo stirring as the US demands that permission is asked for any of its kit that is sold in other products - weapons wise.