Procurement: August 2, 2005

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China has agreed to provide Indonesia with the propulsion and guidance technology needed to build guided missiles with a range of up to 150 kilometers. Indonesia wants to build its own weapons, partly for national pride, partly to provide protection from arms embargos. Indonesia is currently under an arms embargo by the United States (for supporting murderous militias in East Timor). As a result, most of the air forces American made aircraft are grounded because of a spare parts shortage. Indonesia tried to build its own missiles once before, in the 1960s, but corruption and managerial incompetence caused that effort to fail. This time around, the effort is likely to succeed. These anti-ship missiles would, it a certain degree, replace the grounded American F-16 aircraft, and give Indonesia, an island nation, better defense against seaborne aggressors. The missiles would be launched from land and ships. Norinco, the company that would provide the technical assistance, is owned by the Chinese government. Norinco is also under investigation by the United States for illegally transferring solid fuel rocket motor technology to Iran. Recently, Iran openly boasted of having perfected the ability to manufacture solid fuel rocket motors for its long range ballistic missiles. Most of the time, Norinco is less exposed to prosecution and sanctions for illegal activity when it just sells weapons manufacturing technology. This can be done by emailing documents and illustrations, or hand delivering a data CD. Follow this up with discreet visits by some engineers, and youve got another few million bucks in the bank.

 


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