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Report: Israel Passes U.S. Military Technology to China

by Bryant Jordan on December 24, 2013

mq1_predatorSecret U.S. missile and electro-optics technology was transferred to China recently by Israel, prompting anger from the U.S. and causing a senior Israeli defense official to resign.

The head of defense exports for the Israeli Defense Ministry resigned after a U.S. investigation concluded that technology, including a miniature refrigeration system manufactured by Ricor and used for missiles and in electro-optic equipment, was sent to China, according to the Israeli newspaper Maariv.

Another Israeli news site, Aretz Sheva, reports the U.S. is concerned the technology could ultimately find its way to Iran, which last year sought to buy military equipment from China for its nuclear program.

Ricor, on its company website, identifies a number of defense programs using its miniature cryo-coolers, including UAVs, airborne enhanced vision systems, missile warning systems, hand-held thermal imagers and thermal weapons sights.

The Maariv report identified the Israeli defense official as Meir Shalit, and said he apologized to U.S. officials on a recent visit.

Israel has a long record of getting U.S. military technology to China.

In the early 1990s then-CIA Director James Woolsey told a Senate Government Affairs Committee that Israel had been selling U.S. secrets to China for about a decade. More than 12 years ago the U.S. demanded Israel cancel a contract to supply China with Python III missiles, which included technology developed by the U.S. for its Sidewinder missiles, The Associated Press reported in 2002.

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