Procurement: June 17, 2005

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Israel has agreed to keep the United States informed of all arms sales to China. This includes dual use technology (like electronics that can be used for military, as well as civilian, purposes.) Israel has long been suspected of playing fast and loose with selling military gear containing American technology. Israel has been allowed to license this technology to make their own weapons. But to sell Israeli weapons containing this American tech, they needed permission from the United States. The weapon sale that really got the United States steamed was the Chinese purchase of the Israeli Harpy anti-radar system. The Harpy is a small, pilotless, propeller driven aircraft that can stay in the air for six hours, travel as far as 500 kilometers, and search for enemy radars, and destroy them. Harpy weighs 300 pounds, and carries a 40 pound warhead. Israel has already sold Harpy to India, South Korea and Turkey. The United States feared that China would use the electronics, that allow Harpy to find and attack targets, to develop a more powerful version that could, for example, go after American AWACS aircraft. The Harpy technology could also be used to improve Chinese UAVs in general. The Chinese are notorious for taking components of foreign weapons they have bought, and incorporating these parts in new, more powerful weapons. Sometimes the Chinese have permission to use this foreign technology, sometimes they dont. The United States cannot buy, or use, the Harpy because, technically, it is a ground launched cruise missile with a range that violates the SALT I treaty. The U.S. could buy air or sea launched versions of Harpy and not violate SALT I. 

 


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