News Briefings

DoD News Briefing

Thursday, November 18, 1999 - 2:00 p.m. EST
Presenter: Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, DASD PA

.............. QI noted yesterday the Pentagon made an announcement about a proposed sale of JDAM conversion kits to Israel. Can you tell us what other U.S. allies are in line to get this latest state-of-the-art weapon?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Ooh. I'd have to go back to our blue-toppers announcing intended FMS sales. I know we were very happy with the performance of JDAM. So I'm not sure. We would never discuss what negotiations are ongoing, but not yet completed with other nations.

QI guess what I'm asking is, as you alluded to, the JDAM performed quite successfully during the NATO conflict.

RADM. QUIGLEY: We're very happy with that.

QIt's a capability that none, for instance, of our NATO allies have at the moment. I'm just asking, is -- now that I've seen that they announced the first sale of them to Israel, I'm just wondering if other NATO allies are lined up to buy these things as well?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I can't characterize it for you that way. That's typically not what you see on any weapon system as you look across the family of nations and our various friends around the globe. But I can't give you a sense of how many there may be with whom we'd be talking about the possible sale of JDAM. That's something we announce only when it's completed.

QIs the Pentagon looking at JDAM as a possible bridge or stopgap to the European or NATO lag behind on precision weapons?

RADM. QUIGLEY: No, not precisely so. The United States, and other nations as well, build systems, whether they be weapons or sensors or planes or what have you, to fill not only alliance requirements but also their own national needs. The United States military, in this case, felt that JDAM was the right system for its use, and clearly the Israelis feel the same way in this particular case. Other nations may feel that way and would approach the United States individually and there'd be discussions with those nations over time. But it's a little bit of both.


QBut as a matter of Defense export policy of keeping a relative balance of power in the Persian Gulf, does this now not open the door for the export of JDAM to Saudi Arabia?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Not -- I wouldn't call that a necessity in this case. An individual system must not be matched by individual system. There is an enthusiasm for keeping a rough balance or parity of military capability in that part of the world, but you can do that via different means. It doesn't have to be system-to-system, equal numbers, exactly the same.

QSo how will you offset this relative advantage that Israel will now have by having this advanced weapon?

RADM. QUIGLEY: I would say that that would not necessarily be something as an objective that the United States would set out to do. If countries would approach the United States with interest in buying that system, we would discuss that with them as we would any other system with any other friend around the globe. It's really treated individually.

QWill you take the question of whether or not Saudi Arabia has approached the United States and asked for JDAM exports?

RADM. QUIGLEY: No, I won't.

Q (Off mike.)

RADM. QUIGLEY: We will not talk about the not-yet-completed transactions with other countries around the world. There's a very specific process for this, and ultimately the Congress is notified --

Q (Off mike.)

RADM. QUIGLEY: -- and things of that sort.

QWill you take the question of whether they have requested and you have rejected a request?


QThank you.

QYou do talk about pending weapons sales all the time. I mean, you have a pending weapons sale to the UAE which you talk about; F-16s. You have -- I mean, why would this be any different than -- (inaudible due to cross talk)?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, I think that the one that you note there, John, the F-16s to UAE, has been discussed openly by the authorities within the UAE. It's a little disingenuous to not acknowledge that, certainly. But many countries wish, particularly in the early stages of their discussions with the United States for various systems, to not have that be a matter of public record and we will honor that request.


QCan you explain how introducing JDAM into this region doesn't upset the relative balance of --

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, that's -- that's a good question, but it's a complex one to answer. For starters, there's a variety of issues and topics that need to be addressed on each and every foreign military sale. There's an affordability issue, there's a balance of power issue, there's an assessment of alliance requirements and alliance rules with bilateral, multilateral relationships. It's just a variety of factors go into that decisionmaking process each and every time. You then take a look at just what is this technology that's involved in this particular system that we're talking about here? What will be its impact in that nation's military? What will be that system's impact in the region's militaries? And you come to a different conclusion each and every time based on those many variables thrown into the equation. Ultimately, we try to do the best we can to satisfy the needs of our friends and allies around the world, but the needs of the United States' security always must come first. And so that's a very complex equation.


QGiven a JDAM capability requires more than just a strap-on package for the bombs, you know, there has to be a cockpit -- you know, an avionics interface, are we also selling that to Israel?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Well, very few weapons systems today come with a simple thing to put under your wing or bolt onto your ship, or what have you. You're talking about spares, re-work agreements, fire control systems, perhaps radars, software upgrades, hardware upgrades over time. So yes, none of them are taken in isolation, they are all packages that have many parts.

QWill you take two other questions? Will you take the question of what countries you have already exported JDAM to, if any?


QAnd what countries are cleared by the Pentagon for receiving JDAM exports, irrespective of whether they've requested it, which countries have been approved for export of JDAM?

RADM. QUIGLEY: Definitely on the first one, Barbara. I'll try on the second.