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Cablegate: Urgent Request to Expedite Potential Uav Sale To

VZCZCXRO9736
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1626 3401520
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 051520Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2771
INFO RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0571
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BERLIN 001626

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS
STATE FOR PM/DDCT LT COL RONALD KELLAR
STATE FOR JUDY GARBER
STATE FOR EUR/CE CLAIR PIERANGELO
SECDEF FOR SAF/IARE COL DAGS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KOMC ETRD IS GM
SUBJECT: URGENT REQUEST TO EXPEDITE POTENTIAL UAV SALE TO
GERMANY - TAA 3773-08

1. (U) This is an action request, please see paragraph 5.

2. (SBU) In support of a potential $150 million Foreign
Military Sale (FMS) of U.S.-origin Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(UAV) to Germany, Embassy Berlin requests that PM/DDCT move
as quickly as possible in gaining approval for Technical
Assistance Agreement (TAA) 3773-08 by December 12. This
urgent request is in support of a FMS case (designator
GY-D-STZ) that the USAF is offering in a competitive tender
to the German Armed Forces. The German Ministry of Defense
(MOD) will decide next week on whether to purchase up to five
reconnaissance UAVs from Israel or from the U.S. company
General Atomics of San Diego, California. If the TAA is not
approved by December 12, General Atomics will likely not have
a shot at securing this contract. General Atomics submitted
TAA application 3773-08 on November 28.

3. (SBU) Earlier this year, the German defense and armaments
agency (BWB) requested bids from the Israeli Aerospace
Industries Ltd. and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for
five medium altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned
reconnaissance aircraft to support operations in Afghanistan.
At this time, there is support in the MOD (civilian)
Armaments Directorate for an Israeli competitor's product,
the Heron TP, but the German Air Force remains solidly behind
General Atomics' MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B). (COMMENT: The
German Luftwaffe has approached Office of Defense Cooperation
(ODC) Germany to expedite the processing of the TAA because
the relationship between General Atomics and its German
partner, Diehl BGT Defense GmbH is currently limited in scope
to a marketing effort; MoD procurement officials currently
rate this aspect of the FMS offer as inferior to the Israeli
offer. END COMMENT).

4. (SBU) Ruediger Wolf, German State Secretary (Under
Secretary equivalent) for Armaments Acquisitions in MOD,
needs TAA 3773-08 approved by December 12 in order to examine
this proposal and then bring his recommendation before
high-level MOD officials later next week. Charge d'Affaires
John Koenig has already met with State Secretary Wolf twice
to discuss this contract, most recently on November 19.

5. (SBU) Embassy believes that timely action on this TAA
could make the difference in the sale and would appreciate
DDCT's support to expedite the processing of TAA 3773-08.
Koenig

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