Monday, January 31, 2011

Malaysia in Blue Lantern Program

The Blue Lantern Program is defined as follows:

Initiated in September 1990 as the first systematic end-use check program, the Blue Lantern program has strengthened export controls and has proven to be a useful instrument in: 1) deterring diversions, 2) aiding the disruption of illicit supply networks used by rogue governments and international criminal organizations, and 3) helping the Department make informed licensing decisions and ensuring compliance with the AECA and the ITAR.  End-use checks performed under the Blue Lantern program have significantly encouraged compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and have proven particularly effective in addressing the growing problem of gray arms trade (the use of fraudulent export documentation to acquire defense articles through legitimate channels for end-users inimical to U.S. interests).  U.S. embassy personnel, or, in some instances, DDTC personnel, conduct Blue Lantern end-use checks abroad to verify the specific end-use and end-user of commercial defense exports and transfers controlled under the AECA.

Excerpt from: Federation of American Scientists

Wikileaks on 21 January released another cable that involves Malaysia from its Sao Paulo cable. This is the latest of the documents that pointed Malaysia's involvement with AVIBRAS, Brazil's aerospace company. The cable was dated  9 January 2009 and judging by the content of the document, it involves defence contracts with the Ministry of Defence (Najib was the Defence Minister / Deputy Prime Minister during that period mentioned before Pak Lah took over a few months before the end of his premiership.)

AVRIBAS had a 1000 page contract signed with the Malaysian government that includes product descriptions and comprehensive product blueprints. This would be the second contract signed with the Malaysia. The first one was signed back in 2000. AVRIBAS principally manufactures ASTROII missiles (Artillery Saturation Rocket System) and other air-to-air missile. 

So what's the idea of having those ASTROII missiles? How much does it cost? Anyone can fill in the blanks?

The main excerpt of the cable is as follows:

2. (SBU) AVIBRAS's supporting documentation included an approximately 1,000 page long sales contract from the Government of Malaysia. It included detailed descriptions of the product, including blueprints. A Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary level representative of the Government of Malaysia (GoM) had signed the contract and it contained the original seal of the GoM. Hassuani also showed original documentation from a similar contract with the GoM in 2000. Plaques, given as gifts to his company for its services from various countries' militaries, decorated an entire wall in his office. Hassuani even showed Econoff his Association of the U.S. Army card, showing his membership since 1984. 

3. (SBU) ABIBRAS has four sites, divided into munitions, armor and plating, civilian, and administrative. The compounds themselves are located some distance from the main road and protected by security guards. The munitions facility is located about one mile off kilometer 14 of the Tamoios highway, near the city of Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. Upon arrival to the compound, the security guard requested Econoff turn off his cell phone, even though there appeared to be no reception available in the isolated compound. AVIBRAS also retains a member of the Brazilian Air Force to serve as their security liaison. The liaison officer conducts background investigations and grants security clearances to all AVIBRAS employees and contractors, in addition to periodic reviews of compound security. 

4. (SBU) AVIBRAS principally manufactures the Artillery Saturation Rocket System (ASTROS II). AVIBRAS also manufactures air-to-air missile delivery systems for Embraer jet fighters, civilian explosives, fuses, and the missiles themselves. They also have developed an unmanned drone. AVIBRAS does not serve as a broker, which Hassuani says is against Brazilian law. They import the parts for their systems and then manufacture the delivery systems themselves. After the product is complete, workers place it in a container and a Government of Brazil (GoB) customs agent travels to the factory to seal the container. The container is not opened again until the end-user receives delivery of the unit. 

5. (SBU) AVIBRAS sells exclusively to governments. According to Hussuani, they have sold equipment to the following countries' militaries: Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Malaysia, Brunei, Morocco, Angola, Columbia, Chile, and Ecuador. The GoB must approve all transactions and it does deny sales to certain countries. Hassuani showed Econoff a list of the denied countries, which included Iran, Israel, and Ecuador. 

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