Thursday, January 27, 2005

Boeing Unit Sues Mysterious Arms Dealer

Russia's X-31 anti-ship missile is a devastating weapon. Capable of traveling at 2,000 mph, the 15-foot missile skims over the ocean until it slams into its target and explodes. It also can be modified to seek out and destroy radar systems, such as those used to guide the U.S. military's Patriot missiles, defense analysts say.

For years, the U.S. military has sought to develop an effective defense against the X-31. In 1999, Boeing Co. announced in St. Louis that it had won an $18.8 million contract from the Navy to acquire 34 of the Russian missiles and modify them to test the effectiveness of U.S. ship defense systems. But Boeing's efforts stalled as Russian officials, who once seemed ready to sell to the United States balked.

Stymied in Moscow, Boeing sought help from an obscure weapons dealer, Dale C. Stoffel, who sought to buy the missiles through contacts in Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Russia itself, documents show. Now, those efforts also have largely failed, culminating in a courtroom dispute over $6 million that reveals the lengths to which Boeing went in its bid to acquire the X-31.

I may be wrong but I think this could be the same "Dale C. Stoffel" who was murdered. in Iraq last week
I am going to watch the outcome of this FBI investigation very carefully.