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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05PRAGUE892
2005-06-13 08:45:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Prague
Cable title:  

CZECH PROPOSAL FOR PASSIVE RADAR SYSTEM TO VIETNAM

Tags:   ETTC  KSTC  PARM  PINR  PREL  EZ  VM  PK 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						
					
C O N F I D E N T I A L PRAGUE 000892

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/06/2015
TAGS: ETTC KSTC PARM PINR PREL EZ VM PK
SUBJECT: CZECH PROPOSAL FOR PASSIVE RADAR SYSTEM TO VIETNAM
RENEWED; DEMO MODEL TO PAKISTAN EXPECTED SOON

REF: A. A:(2004) SECSTATE 172966


B. B:PRAGUE 860

Classified By: DEPUTY POLITICAL COUNSELOR MARK CANNING, REASONS 1.4 (B)
and (D)

1 (C) Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Winkler told DCM in a June
3rd meeting that the Czech Republic is considering the sale
of the passive surveillance system VERA-E, in a simplified
non-NATO version, to Vietnam, and would like to consult with
the US on this. Winkler explained that French and Swedish
exporters have recently expressed interest in Vietnam and
that has prompted the Czech firm ERA to renew its own sales
efforts there.



2. (C) The MFA initially denied this application last Fall
(U.S. views on sale given Reftel A). The manufacturer, ERA,
withdrew the application, but resubmitted it in March. At
that time, the MFA said that its position hadn't changed and
that the sale was not in the interest of the Czech Republic
or its allies. ERA said it had new information to present
with the resubmission and presented this last week (June 2).
Most of the new information involved claims by ERA of sales
or proposed sales of similar radar and surveillance equipment
to Vietnam by other European states, including Germany,
France, Sweden and Poland.



3. (C) In a separate June 3rd meeting, Petr Kaiser, head of
the MFA's licensing office, told Embassy Pol-Mil officer that
ERA wants to design and sell to Vietnam a non-NATO version of
the VERA-E and is ready to consider serious reductions in the
capability of the system. The Czech Ministry of Defense,
which has been financially supporting VERA for many years, is
also, according to Kaiser, considering this.



4. (C) Kaiser thought there could be a meeting soon to
discuss the concept of a non-NATO VERA-E. He wondered
whether the US would like to have some input in the
discussion about what capabilities a non-NATO machine might
have, or what kind of pre-sales and post-sales safeguards
non-NATO transactions might require.



5. (C) Kaiser argued that ERA is trying to be a responsible
corporation. He revealed that ERA had a board meeting within
the last two weeks to discuss the ongoing suit, filed by
Czech arms dealer Omnipol, over last year's canceled license
for the sale of VERA-E to China. At that meeting ERA
representatives decided to go against Omnipol and not be a
party to the suit. Apparently, Kaiser reasoned, some at ERA
feel it is not appropriate to sell VERA-E to China at this
time.



6. (C) Kaiser cautioned that the proposed sale to Vietnam is
an issue that is not going to go away anytime soon.



7. (C) Meanwhile, in a related matter, Kaiser informed
Embassy Pol-mil officer that Pakistan has asked for a model
of ERA's passive surveillance system ASDD to begin testing.
The Czechs plan to loan this model, for a couple of weeks.
Kaiser said the approval for this loan is in the pipeline and
could be given within the next 2 weeks.



8. COMMENT: (C) As discussed Reftel B, the Czech MFA has
offered assurances that they want to continue consulting with
USG on VERA sales. Embassy believes it is in the USG
interest to engage the Czechs in a discussion on a non-NATO
version of VERA. In December, 2004, the Czech MFA asked for
the USG opinion on a proposed Pakistani purchase of a less
capable version of VERA. The absence of a USG response has
left the Czechs to decide for themselves what technical
capabilities are appropriate and what conditions to attach to
the sale. Post is aware that the U.S. won't have the chance
to test its own VERA-E until this fall. Nevertheless, post
encourages Washington to consider the Czech offer to discuss
what modifications might be appropriate for a non-NATO
version of the VERA-E.



9. ACTION REQUEST: (C) Please indicate Washington's
willingness to begin a technical discussion on a possible
non-NATO version of the VERA-E, and Washington's views on the
proposed sale of such a device to Vietnam.
CABANISS