80. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Clements)1


  • Cooperation with South Africa in Ocean Surveillance

The President has approved your recommendation that the U.S. accede to the request of the Government of the Union of South Africa for cooperation in ocean surveillance, to the extent of facilitating the review of requests for export of equipment and data necessary to upgrade the South African ocean surveillance system.

It is our understanding that International Signal and Controls Corporation is prepared to undertake a study to determine equipment requirements associated with providing South Africa with a modern ocean surveillance capability. Under existing regulations, such a study would require in all probability a Munitions Control license. It is further understood that International Signal and Controls Corporation would apply for specific license issuance for hardware items as subsegments of the study were completed and approved. Accordingly, to implement the President’s decision, the Director of the Office of Munitions Control is authorized to invite International Signals to submit an application for a study, informing the company that the U.S. will view sympathetically but on a case-by-case basis, eventual export of reasonable amounts and kinds of ocean surveillance equipment. The Office of Munitions Control, in coordination with concerned agencies, will ensure that the study and subsequent provision of equipment do not extend to capabilities which would involve sensitive technology transfers or direct U.S. involvement.

When the study is completed, Munitions Control will—again in coordination with concerned agencies—review the final equipment requirements and facilitate, as appropriate, additional license issuance procedures.

In responding to General Armstrong’s letter proposing the cooperation agreement,2 Admiral Holloway may indicate that the matter has been referred to the Office of Munitions Control, Department of State, [Page 191] which will be prepared to consider an application for a study of South African requirements in a favorable light.

Brent Scowcroft
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Scowcroft Daily Work Files, Box 21, Scowcroft Chronological File (B), Scowcroft Chronological 12/23/75–1/2/76 (4). Top Secret; Sensitive. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 78.