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Israel as the US Military Technology Transfer Conduit to China and Russia since the 1990s
07-15-2010, 03:02 PM,
Israel as the US Military Technology Transfer Conduit to China and Russia since the 1990s
Interesting 1996 expose from a site (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs) that has a lot of interesting tales of weapons and US military technology transfers with Israel right in the centre of it.

More article links following the article.

Quote:U.S. Military Technology Sold by Israel To China Upsets Asian Power Balance
January 1996, pgs. 12, 96
By Tim Kennedy

Israel's Lavi fighter-bomber was designed to be one of the deadliest weapons in the air. However, it now has been revealed that after Israel discontinued the largely U.S.-funded project, it sold China the plans for the Lavi and the associated secret U.S. technology. This has enabled the Chinese to build their own version of this new generation of fighter aircraft.

The illegal transfer of plans for the Lavi aircraft from Tel Aviv to Beijing first became known by the Pentagon when an American surveillance satellite orbiting over China spotted several new fighter planes on the runway of a Chinese air base traditionally used for the test and evaluation of prototype aircraft. Imagery experts at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) created rough sketches of the jet, then processed the graphic data through high-speed supercomputers in order to obtain three-dimensional representations of the prototype Chinese fighter planes.

Stunning Images

CIA officials specializing in aviation technology were stunned at the 3-D images generated by the computers. China's newest fighter jet was in fact a copy of the Israeli Lavi, which itself was modeled upon the U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role aircraft.

Although Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), Israel's biggest state-owned manufacturer of arms and defense technology, was the Lavi's prime contractor, nearly 90 percent of the Lavi was funded by the Pentagon. This is just one astonishing aspect of the story of the U.S.-Israeli aircraft, the evolution of which was almost as Byzantine as its surprise ending as the most formidable weapon in China's military arsenal.

The Lavi program, as conceived in the early 1980s by Israeli military planners and their supporters in the Pentagon and Congress, was intended as an exceedingly generous gift from America to the people of Israel. The Pentagon never had any intention of including the Lavi in its own military aviation fleet.

The thinking among U.S. Defense Department officials was that the United States, having provided Israel for two decades with some of America's best fighter aircraft—including F-4 Phantoms, F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons—now should give the Jewish state the ability to manufacture its own state-of-the-art fighter planes.

It took American military officials very little time to decide which American fighter plane should serve as the model for the Lavi. They chose the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The F-16 was—and still is—the American fighter plane most sought after by foreign governments. Compact and with a highly maneuverable design, it has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack.

General Dynamics, the prime contractor for the F-16, touts the Fighting Falcon as an "aircraft that provides a relatively low-cost, high performance weapon system...While operating in air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft. It can locate targets under all weather conditions and detect low-flying aircraft in radar clutter. In an air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly more than 500 miles, deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions."

Foreign military sales officials at the U.S. Department of Defense traditionally are tolerant of Israeli mismanagement of U.S. arms programs. However, as the delays, cost overruns and blatant moves by IAI to stamp "Made in Israel" on American-made Lavi avionics evolved, the Pentagon decided to terminate the program.

The U.S. Department of Defense therefore formally ceased sending money to Israel for the Lavi program in 1987, but only after American taxpayers had paid some $1.5 billion to fund the project. The interruption of cash flow effectively killed the program, but left Israel with two fully functional Lavi prototypes.

While the Lavi program was underway, China repeatedly initiated talks with U.S. government officials regarding purchase of the F-16. These requests always were turned down, largely because American defense officials feared China's possession of the F-16 could destabilize Beijing's relationships with its neighbors, specifically Taiwan, India, Russia, Japan, and the Philippines.

Unbeknownst to U.S. officials, however, at some point the Chinese also initiated talks with Israel. As a result, according to a declassified Air Force study obtained by the Washington Report, the Chinese version of the Lavi—which has been dubbed the F-10 by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—will be "built in large numbers" by the year 2003 "and will possess a radar-evading [read stealth] capability."

Currently, China's most sophisticated aircraft are domestically-produced copies of the Russian MiG-21 Fishbed fighter, a relatively slow, short-range day fighter which first saw service in 1956.

Morton Miller is a retired State Department intelligence analyst who formerly tracked sales to Beijing of other Israeli weapons, some of which also have involved illegal Israeli export of other sophisticated U.S. defense technology to China. He has told journalists that the close defense relationship between Israel and China dates back to the mid-1980s, and involves the transfer of "five billion dollars' worth" of U.S.-made computers, high-tech electronics and advanced manufacturing equipment used to create long-range missiles, nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Ignoring these charges, the Israeli Ministry of Defense officially acknowledges that it is working with China to manufacture jointly an advanced fighter plane, but denies that any of the technology from the Lavi is used in the Chinese F-10. Nevertheless, IAI documents dating from 1985 credit the enormous role the Pentagon played in helping to build the Lavi, and acknowledge that "about 50 percent of the Lavi is built in the United States...The program is supported by the capabilities of no less than 120 American firms."

Pentagon sources revealed to the Washington Report that when U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry confronted Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin with the allegations concerning transfer to China of U.S. stealth and other fighter aircraft technologies last year in Tel Aviv, Rabin promised to "resolve the issue." That was before Rabin's Nov. 4 assassination.

Requests to IAI by the Washington Report for further details on the Lavi technology transfer to China were stonewalled. "That's a story that's been going around for a number of years," said Lisa Gordon, assistant to the director of IAI's military aircraft office in Washington, DC. "We're just seeing it come around again," she said. "Beyond that, we aren't commenting on it."

The CIA, which for some time has been concerned about the increasingly close link between Israeli and Chinese defense industries, and the threat this alliance poses to world stability, has been similarly frustrated.

Former CIA director R. James Woolsey informed the U.S. Senate in late 1993 that he was "alarmed" by the military partnership between Tel Aviv and Beijing, and officially accused Israel of "illegally supplying China with classified defense technology from sources in the West."

Reading from a declassified CIA report while appearing before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Woolsey added: "We believe the Chinese seek from Israel advanced military technologies that U.S. and Western firms are unwilling to provide."

Woolsey revealed that Israel has been selling military technology to China for over a decade, and that the sales may amount to several billion dollars.

During subsequent testimony, Woolsey said the CIA is convinced China also is relying on its friends in Israel to assist in developing advanced engines for the next generation of Chinese combat vehicles. He said also that China will rely on Israeli expertise to create sophisticated airborne radar that employs super-secret technology that has been entrusted to Israel for another multibillion dollar joint project—production in Israel of the Arrow missile defense program which also has been funded largely by the United States.

"[These are] systems," concluded Woolsey in his testimony, "the Chinese would have difficulty producing on their own." Now it appears that, thanks to Israeli transfer of highly classified U.S. military technology, the Chinese have done just that, setting off alarm bells among China's neighbors, and America's allies, all around the rim of Asia.

Tim Kennedy is a free-lance writer specializing in military affairs based in Washington, DC.

Related Washington Report on Middle East Affairs News Archive Items:

“Arik’s New World Order” Envisions Making Israel Broker of U.S. Military Technology to Russia
June 1999

"Aggressive, Outspoken Member of the Clinton Inner Circle" is Longtime AIPAC Employee
September 1995

I remember this deal getting Canada in a lot of hot water -- but it's ok to covertly deal weapons to China and Russia just not the Middle East.

Israeli Ambassador Denounces Canadian Weapons Sales to the Middle East
November 1992

More recently 1996-2004 there has been a connection uncovered between Chinese Intel officer Johnny Chung who had strong ties with the democratic party and transacted 300K (it went a lot further then) to get Bill Clinton re-elected.

NY Times Search for Johnny Chung:
There are no others, there is only us.
08-11-2011, 12:07 PM,
RE: Israel as the US Military Technology Transfer Conduit to China and Russia since the 1990s
It's become quite a bit more direct as of late. Is Taiwan a tight ally of the US still? Is this simply a business move? The US has forces (50K+ Troops in South Korea and Japan to provide cover so is this really necessary for Taiwan's defence?

Quote:Taiwan says US looking at military needs
(AFP) – Jul 15, 2011

WASHINGTON — Taiwan said Friday that the United States was actively considering its military needs amid silence from Washington on the island's requests to buy F-16 fighter jets to balance off China.

Taiwan's information minister, Philip Yang, said on a visit to Washington that President Ma Ying-jeou was committed to better relations with Beijing but that the island needed weapon upgrades as China ramps up military spending.

Yang brushed aside questions on whether Taiwan has formally submitted a request for the military upgrade, saying that Ma and other government leaders have made their position known numerous times.

"I believe the message is clear and the intentions are clear. The United States is actually in the process of reviewing what are the defense needs of Taiwan," Yang told a news conference.

The United States only recognizes Beijing, which considers Taiwan a territory awaiting reunification. But under a 1979 act of Congress, the United States is required to provide Taiwan arms to defend itself.

The trade publication Defense News reported last month that President Barack Obama's administration has asked Taiwan not to submit a formal letter for jets, thereby allowing the United States to say it cannot process the request.

The United States last year approved $6.4 billion in other weapons for Taiwan, including Patriot missiles and Black Hawk helicopters. China strongly condemned the move and temporarily cut military ties with the United States.

There are no others, there is only us.
08-12-2011, 02:43 PM,
RE: Israel as the US Military Technology Transfer Conduit to China and Russia since the 1990s
Seems Taiwan is submissive to China because of sheer numbers and unification is imminent. Any arms to Taiwan is effectively added to Chinese forces. While China has been increasing its military assets, Taiwan has done little to defend itself, falling well short on a proposed military spending budget.

Quote:Taiwan lowers its military sights
By Jens Kastner
Aug 2, 2011

TAIPEI - In hardly a gesture of friendliness to its neighbors, China's Defense Ministry has confirmed the People Liberation Army Navy's (PLA Navy) aircraft carrier program. The announcement comes just days after the Taiwanese military released its regular defense white paper, which some observers likened to the island waving a white flag of surrender.

The edge the PLA has over the Taiwanese armed forces is becoming increasingly overwhelming, the Taiwanese military says, and within a decade, the PLA won't have a hard time forcing Taipei into accepting unification by military means if necessary. Adding insult to injury by showcasing the island's political
Taiwan lowers its military sights
By Jens Kastner

TAIPEI - In hardly a gesture of friendliness to its neighbors, China's Defense Ministry has confirmed the People Liberation Army Navy's (PLA Navy) aircraft carrier program. The announcement comes just days after the Taiwanese military released its regular defense white paper, which some observers likened to the island waving a white flag of surrender.

The edge the PLA has over the Taiwanese armed forces is becoming increasingly overwhelming, the Taiwanese military says, and within a decade, the PLA won't have a hard time forcing Taipei into accepting unification by military means if necessary. Adding insult to injury by showcasing the island's political indetermination in reacting to the threat, news emerged that for the first time in a decade, PLA Air Force (PLAAF) fighter jets jaunted across the centerline in the Taiwan Strait without Taipei even daring to protest.


That time isn't on the Taiwanese armed forces' side is a notion virtually forced on the report's readers. Over a few chapters it expounds on the PLA's substantial progress in the fields of ground combat capability, sea combat capability, air combat capability, Second Artillery (the PLA unit in charge of conventional and nuclear missiles) strike capability, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, and electronic warfare capability, as well as on mainland China's strategic doctrine and the enormous disparity of both sides' defense budgets and personnel numbers.

In more concrete terms:
# The Taiwanese military assess that mainland China's military budget is already 21 times that of Taiwan's.
# The PLA has more than 2.3 million personnel against Taiwan's 270,000.
# The Second Artillery strengthened strategic nuclear deterrence and nuclear counterattack ability by the continued development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, which makes an attack carried out by US forces coming to Taiwan's help on Chinese targets other than those directly involved in the PLA campaign against Taiwan not being an option.
# The PLA has already deployed some DF-21D "carrier killer" ballistic missiles, which are assessed as the PLA's key weapon platform to prevent the US Navy from intervening in a cross-strait conflict.
# China has significantly strengthened air defense and anti-ship bases along its coast, which makes it less likely that retaliation strikes could pressure China into halting attacks against Taiwan.
# In Fujian and Guangdong provinces, which are the ones closest to Taiwan, more than 1,000 missiles are deployed targeting the island, as well as new advanced combat aircraft and missile boats.

To attack Taiwan's command-and-control bases, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and high-speed anti-radiation missiles are deployed and the PLA's main naval and air platforms are gradually being equipped with electronic warfare capabilities, aiming at enabling the jamming of enemy forces' weapon control systems.

# And by 2020:
# The PLA Navy will have launched its first indigenous aircraft carriers which will come along with a fleet of stealth fighters on them.
# China's Beidou navigation satellite system will provide the missile force with precision targeting capabilities, making precision strikes against moving targets at sea, and particularly US aircraft carriers, much easier.

As to what effect the PLA's arms built-up will have on future battle scenarios, the Taiwanese military believes that by 2020 the PLA can carry out a blockade on Taiwan, seize Taiwan's outlying islands, launch a full-scale military attack against Taiwan proper, and deter foreign powers from coming to Taiwan's help.

Whereas the white paper acknowledges that since 2008 a number of cross-strait treaties have been signed - such as on direct links, financial cooperation and most prominently the Economic Framework Cooperation Agreement (ECFA) - it warns the PLA threat has failed to decrease.

"The state of peacetime readiness [the Chinese forces are in] can rapidly mutate into [a display of] combat power against Taiwan," it reads. However, the question of how the Taiwanese military considers responding is left largely ambiguous.


Tsang then concluded on a somewhat intriguing note. "I am also not sure whether formally protesting for its own sake is always the best policy. If the leaking of the information was meant primarily to put pressure on the US government over sales of new F-16s or the upgrading of the ones Taiwan already has, there's not much point in protesting to Beijing."

On numerous occasions and to little avail, Ma Ying-jeou has requested the US to authorize weapon sales. The platform Taiwan seeks the most urgently - F-16C/Ds to replace its fleet of aging aircraft - is unlikely to be sold to Taipei as Washington fears the deal would lead to a significant deterioration of US-China relations.

Recently, the Obama administration announced it would make a decision on the F-16 sale by October 1. This timing strongly augurs that the deal is dead. This is because that date is sandwiched between Vice President Biden's trip to China in August and President Hu's trip to Hawaii in November, and Xi Jin-ping, Hu's expected successor, will also visit the US in the winter.

There are no others, there is only us.

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