France-UAE Satellite Deal Shaky After U.S. Spy Tech Discovered Onboard

January 8th, 2014

Via: Space War:

The sale of two intelligence satellites to the UAE by France for nearly a billion dollars could go south after they were found to contain American technology designed to intercept data transmitted to the ground station.

The equipment, costing 3.4 billion dirhams ($930 million), constitutes two high-resolution Pleiades-type Falcon Eye military intelligence satellites, which a top UAE defense source has said contain specific US-made components designed to intercept the satellites’ communications with their accompanying ground station, said in a report.

“The discovery [of the US-made components] was reported to the [office of the] deputy supreme commander [Sheikh Mohamm ed Bin Zayed] in September,” an unnamed defense source said. “We have requested the French to change these components and also consulted with the Russian and Chinese firms.”

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