Thursday, April 25, 1996 - 10:30 a.m.
[This media activity takes place following a Full Honors Arrival Ceremonywelcoming Minister of Defense Jean-Pol Poncelet, of the Kingdom of Belgium, tothe Pentagon]
Q: Secretary, in your speech the other day you mentioned that the U.S. andIsrael might be cooperating in the area of providing some early warningcapability to Israel. Could you tell us at all what you're talking about there-- are you talking about UAVs or sharing the satellite information?
A: I will answer that question in a moment, Jamie. Let me first of all see ifthere's any Belgian press here, and if there is, give them the chance to askthe first question. No, all right, let me go to Jamie's question then.
I have committed several times to taking the actions which will assist Israelin maintaining a qualitative edge in their military forces, and we will bediscussing those in some detail with the Prime Minister this weekend. Thatwill include work in technology sharing and support in the area of missiledefense, rocket defense, intelligence, and early warning. The details of whatwe will be discussing are better announced I think after the meeting with thePrime Minister when I have had a chance to discuss it with him.
But specifically, to direct myself to your question on early warning, we havein the past, on a selected basis provided early warning information from oursatellites on missile launches. And we are looking at a way of making thismore systematic and more detailed and systematic way of providing thisinformation. So it has to do with satellite warning information, although wewill be talking about other intelligence sharing, as well.
Q: Could you also just tell us if you have made any decision yet about thesafety upgrades to military passenger carrying planes? I know that you havebeen briefed on that by the services. Have you made any decisions...
A: Well its a few days away yet Jamie, we are pretty close to within a fewdays of a decision. I want to review the final decision on this with theChairman when he returns tomorrow. So, probably we'll have an announcement tomake on that early next week. There are going to be some significant andsubstantial programs and changes announced at that time.
Q: Is this going to cost a lot of money?
A: It's going to cost a lot of money. Yes.
Q: Any idea how much? Are we talking about billions or hundreds ofmillions?
A: I'll announce that early next week. Thank you.