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Monday, August 26, 2013

WAYNE MADSEN - Was Russian Jet Crash in Indonesia Industrial Sabotage?

Former U.S. Ambassador to Jakarta Ralph Boyce, now president of Boeing Asia must be watching this tragedy unfold with keen interest

Wayne Madsen Report
By Wayne Madsen
05/11/2012

The crash of a new Russian Sukhoi SuperJet 100 passenger plane in Indonesia has all the markings of an industrial sabotage attack, according to WMR's Asian sources. The plane was carrying prospective Indonesian customers, as well as journalists and employees of the Sukhoi company, when it crashed into the summit of Mount Salak, near Jakarta. Of the 45 passengers and crew, there were no survivors of the crash. Other than the Sukhoi crew and officials on board, there were a number of representatives of Indonesian airlines, as well as local journalists, as well as nationals of France, Italy, and the United States.


The Russian Sukhoi Superjet was lost from radar at 6,200 feet
After 21 minutes into the demonstration flight, the pilot requested air traffic control permission to drop from 10,000 to 6,000 feet. Although there was light rain, weather conditions were not hazardous. The reason for the pilot's request to descend is not known. Shortly after the plane descended, air traffic control lost contact with the plane. Ground observers reported that the plane appeared "unsteady" before the crash. The plane did not take off from Sukarno-Hatta International Airport but from another local airfield, the Halim Air Force Base. Halim is where U.S. Special Forces troops have been training their Indonesian counterparts in various air force tactics, possibly including meaconing, intrusion, jamming, and interference (MIJI) electronic warfare tactics designed to interfere with aircraft navigation systems. Some of the training occurs every year as part of the EXERCISE COPE WEST, sponsored the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. Last year's exercise, COPE WEST 10, concentrated on simulated military operations against the Chinese Air Force, which uses military aircraft designed by Sukhoi.


The Superjet slammed into Mt. Salak on Wednesday, no survivors
The Sukhoi carried a price tag much lower than its Boeing counterparts, $35 million each, and was Russia's first commericial aircraft offering since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Three new Indonesian airlines, Kartika Airlines, Sky Aviation, and Queen Air, had already placed orders for 48 SuperJets and there were another 170 orders from around the world. The crash of the SuperJet has placed the viability of the aircraft for current and future customers in doubt.

On his last visit to Indonesia, President Obama inked a deal with Indonesia's Lion Air to sell 230 Boeing aircraft with a $22 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Export-Bank. Obama said the deal to supply Boeing aircraft to Lion Air would create 110,000 U.S. jobs. However, Sukhoi's entrance into the lucrative Indonesian commercial aviation market, which now has a number of competitors to the partly state-owned and safety record-plagued Garuda Indonesian Airlines, represented a threat to Boeing's business in the country and the Boeing deal worked out by Obama.


Former Ambassador to Indonesia Ralph Boyce
Lion Air is owned by brothers who are former travel agents, Kusana and Rusdi Kirana. The airline's poor safety record has earned it a ban by the European Union for its poor maintenance record and lack of corporate transparency and some of its pilots have been implicated in drug smuggling. A Reuters report dated February 15, 2012 about the Singapore Air Show, which Rusdi attended, states that very little is known about the Kirana brothers, other than the fact that Kirana is also a former Brother typewriter salesman. The brothers started Lion Air a little over ten years ago.

The Singapore Air Show was attended by Boeing Southeast Asia President Ralph "Skip" Boyce, who was pushing commercial offerings, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Boeing 737-MAX, and the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, as well as military aircraft, such as the KC-135R Stratotanker and the F-15 fighter. The entry of Sukhoi into the lucrative Asian market with the lower-cost SuperJet was seen by Boeing as a threat to its business in the region. It also helps Boeing that Obama secured the EX-IM Bank loan guarantee for Lion Air to purchase Boeing aircraft. Boyce has been the subject of past WMR reports from Southeast Asia. A former U.S. ambassador to Indonesia and Thailand, Boyce is heavily implicated in the State Department's pedophile diplomat scandals in both countries.

Lion Air's failure to introduce its Initial Public Offerring (IPO) of $1 billion in stock, due to the global financial meltdown has placed the airline in financial jeopardy. Its main competitor, Garuda, has also delayed its stock float, causing a major ripple in the Indonesian aviation market.


Wayne MADSEN (USA)

Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Madsen has over twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. 

Wayne Madsen
Madsen has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club, Madsen is based and reports from Washington, D.C. 





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