Acting On US Protest, They Try To Evict GPS-Jammer Maker From
US and Russian authorities
apparently agreed on one thing Friday -- Aviakonversia has got to
go. So, Russian authorities tried, but failed, to throw the
company's representatives out of the Moscow Air Show, MAKS.
With a huge American presence at MAKS this year, Russian
authorities seemed eager to avoid any sort of confrontation. So, at
the apparent urging of US officials, Russian law officers went to
the show to confront the company, which had a booth there.
Aviakonversia makes a GPS jammer that seems to have caused
American forces so much trouble in the early days of the 2003 Iraq
war, President Bush reportedly lodged a strong personal protest in
a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. American
officials accused Russia of sending advisors into Iraq during the
air raids and subsequent invasion. Russia denied the
"Our GPS jammer puts all US high-precision weapons out of
order," Antonov said. "They have turned billions of dollars that
the US government has spent into dust."
While Antonov denied that he sold this jamming technology (crude
homemade example, above) directly to Saddam Hussein's regime, he
didn't deny selling to people who might have delivered the goods to
"Right before the war," he said, "there were a lot of people in
Moscow with suitcases full of money shopping for anything that
could deter US troops."
Friday, at least three Russian agencies sent representatives to
MAKS to throw the jammers out. They failed.
"They demanded we pack up, but we have the right to be here --
we paid the rent for this stall," Antonov told the Times after
meeting with the Russian federal agents. "We have made the product
using our own money and do not need the approval from the Defense
Ministry, a grocery director or a banya director."