Cablegate: Results of Blue Lantern Level 3 Pre-License Check
DE RUEHTV #0121/01 0141551
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141551Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4994
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/HQ BICE INTEL WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000121
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KOMC IS
SUBJECT: RESULTS OF BLUE LANTERN LEVEL 3 PRE-LICENSE CHECK
ON APPLICATION 730003744
REF: A. 07 STATE 144058
B. 07 TEL AVIV 02854
1. (SBU) Acting on instructions in ref A, Embassy Blue
Lantern officer and senior commercial specialist visited
Astronautics C.A., Ltd.'s office in Petah Tikva, Israel on
January 14 and met with Ground Systems and Business
Development Manager Eli Avraham to discuss the proposed
transaction covered by export license application number
730003744. In responding to emboffs' questions, Avraham said
the following in the course of the discussion:
A) Astronautics C.A. intends to use the T-16 and T-24 Vehicle
Reference Units (VRUs) in order to test new software that it
is developing. The VRUs will interface with the new software
and 12.1-inch, 15-inch and 20-inch Control and Display Units
(CDUs) to enhance the software's capability. The 12-inch CDU
includes a new processor and provides better resolution and
so requires new software. Astronautics C.A. wants to
incorporate digital maps into their Inertial Navigation
Systems (INSs). (NOTE: Copies of pamphlets on these systems
have been sent by FAX to PM/DTCC at 202-261-8198.)
B) The T-16 and T-24 VRUs are normally incorporated into
Inertial Navigation Systems (INSs) for land systems,
including armored personnel carriers (APCs) and trucks. They
can also be used in navigation and aiming systems for the
M-109 howitzer. The T-24 VRU is also used on the 105 mm
L-119 light gun produced by General Dynamics Santa Barbara
Systems. Avraham noted that the T-16 VRU is less accurate
than the T-24 VRU. Kearfott is also developing a new T-18
VRU that is more accurate than the T-16 VRU and less accurate
than the T-24 VRU. According to Avraham, it will be easier
for Kearfott to obtain export licenses for the T-18 VRU.
C) Astronautics in the U.S. applied for the temporary export
licenses for the T-16 and T-24 VRUs because Astronautics C.A.
in Israel only needs the VRUs temporarily, and because there
is no defined end-user for the units. They plan to return
the VRUs within four years, unless the temporary export
licenses are renewed, in which case they will hold onto them
for the duration of the licenses.
D) Astronautics C.A. has not yet defined clients for the its
new CDUs. Kearfott and Astronautics in the U.S. usually
handle the marketing and will apply for the appropriate U.S.
and Israeli export licenses once purchasers are identified.
Astronautics C.A. exports some of its displays to Spain. In
response to Blue Lantern officer's question, Avraham stated
clearly that Astronautics C.A. does not deal with entities
located in countries that are subject to arms embargoes by
the U.S. and/or the United Nations.
2. (SBU) Providing an overview of the company for the senior
commercial specialist's information, Avraham repeated in
general information about the company that was reported in
A) Astronautics C.A. Ltd. is a subsidiary fully-owned by
Astronautics C.A. of America, which is located in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. The Israeli subsidiary was founded in 1971. Its
general manager is David Ronen. It has 110 employees, over
40 percent of which are engineers. It does business with
many international partners, including Boeing, Lockheed
Martin, Bell Helicopter/TEXTRON, General Dynamics Santa
Barbara, Aeromacchi, the Turkish Navy and Air Force, the
Royal Thai Army, and Singapore Technologies. The company has
three divisions: Airborne Systems, Land Systems and Naval
Systems. It focuses mainly on displays for airborne systems,
but also produces displays and instruments for ground and
naval systems, air data computers, and digital maps. It
received an award from Boeing for its co-production with
Kaiser Electronics on the F-15I displays program. It is
providing maintenance for the Royal Thai Army's tanks, and
recently upgraded the display systems for Austria and
Switzerland's M-109 self-propelled howitzers.
B) All of the company's employees are vetted by the Israeli
MOD and have to undergo some form of a background check.
Astronautics C.A. Ltd.'s projects are classified at different
levels, with most of them being unclassified. Employees
working on specific projects have to have the appropriate
level of clearance. As the Ground Systems Manager, Avraham
has also been responsible for the company's security for the
last two years. Controlled items cannot be taken out of the
company's secure warehouse without Avraham's approval.
Avraham said that the Israeli MOD conducts audits of the
company's security practices once every three months.
Avraham said that the T-16 and T-24 VRUs will be stored in
the secure warehouse and only operated under secure
conditions in keeping with their controlled status.
C) Astronautics C.A. of America also operates a factory in
Mexico, and has software engineers working for it in Russia
who test software manufactured in the U.S.
3. (SBU) Avraham noted that Astronautics C.A. in Israel
recently developed the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) -- Class 2
and Class 3 -- for commercial and military aviation
applications. It received Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) approval for the Class 2 EFB without any problems, but
is finding it difficult to obtain FAA approval for the Class
3 EFB. Avraham explained that the EFB is a computer that is
divided into two portions -- a 2-cm thick display, and a
computer that can be located elsewhere on the vessel housing
the EFB. Avraham said that it is difficult to get the FAA
approval for the Class 3 EFB because it affords two-way
communication, and FAA is reportedly concerned that the
two-way communication may affect aircraft safety.
4. (SBU) Based on the site visit and emboffs' discussion with
Avraham, emboffs believe that the transaction proposed in
export license application number 730003744 is legitimate,
and recommend approval of the export license.
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