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Cablegate: Czech Republic: Blue Lantern Pre-License Check On

VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPG #0899 2141121
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021121Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9433
INFO RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA PRIORITY 2928
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000899

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR PM/DTCC - BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KOMC ETTC LO EZ
SUBJECT: CZECH REPUBLIC: BLUE LANTERN PRE-LICENSE CHECK ON
APPLICATION 050056144

REF: STATE 104291

1. (SBU) Econoff spoke with Ministry of Defense America Desk
Officer LtCol Lubor Koudelka July 30 about LD Aviation's
request to export radar components to Slovakia. Koudelka
confirmed LD Aviation is licensed by the Czech Ministry of
Industry and Trade to import and export defense articles. In
a separate conversation, Ministry of Industry and Trade
Director of Special Exports Zdenek Richtr confirmed this
license and said his Ministry has no derogatory information
concerning the company.

2. (SBU) Econoff also talked to LD Aviation Managing Director
Jaroslav Najman, who confirmed the order involved avionics
upgrades for helicopters. He had no knowledge of the
specific application number, noting that it was likely filed
by Southeast Aerospace in Florida, but confirmed the details
of the order. Najman claimed LD Aviation was working as a
subcontractor under an umbrella contract between Air
Transport Europe and the U.S. Army, and that the U.S. Army
will be the end-user (NOTE: Najman stated his understanding
that the U.S. Army owns the helicopters and they are for use
in Afghanistan, but provided no documentation to substantiate
this claim. End note). LD Aviation will install the radar
components on Mi-8 helicopters provided by Air Transport
Europe, a Slovak company that provides emergency medical and
contract helicopter services.

3. (SBU) Najman said LD Aviation has been in operation for
approximately five years and specializes in avionics upgrades
and spare parts sales. He said he was familiar with the
restrictions against unauthorized re-export or re-transfer of
U.S.-origin defense articles. LD Aviation is a registered
dealer for Schweizer Aircraft and also works with Eurocopter.
Najman told Econoff that 80% of LD Aviation's business comes
from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He said the remainder
comes primarily from Europe. When asked about non-European
customers, Najman said LD Aviation had worked with Israel
Aircraft Industries to modernize six helicopters for the US
Army with anti-rocket systems. He believed the aircraft in
this case were Mi-17 helicopters.
THOMPSON-JONES

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