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Boeing fined $10 million in tech export case

Feds claim broke export licence terms 207 times

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Aerospace giant Boeing is to cough up a $10 million fine payment in consideration of having broken the terms of a US export licence in the course of a collaboration with Russia and the Ukraine. The company is accused of having shared technical information with RSC-Energia and KB Yuzhnoye/PO without a State Department representative being present. A bit harsh this surely - you're engaged in a satellite venture, Sea Launch, half-way around the world for three years, and whenever you want to talk tech to your partners you've got to fly out some geezer from the State Department. Whatever, Boeing reportedly broke the licence terms, er, 207 times. The fine, a civil penalty, is the largest ever levied under the US Arms Export Control Act, and includes $2.5 million for setting up a computer system in Long Beach, California so that government agencies can monitor Boeing's dealings with its partners. So only the suckers from Boeing have to go to Kiev, with the added joy of knowing they're being bugged by Feds stationed somewhere far pleasanter. But Boeing isn't out of the woods yet - the DoJ is mounting a criminal investigation, and its position is obviously ticklish. It has 40 per cent of Sea Launch, a project worth $500 million, and it's project manager. Most, but not all, of the technology comes from partners, and the satellite launch vehicle is going to be a modified Soviet ICBM. ® Click for more stories

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