Iraq’s Bomb, Chip by Chip

The New York Times
April 24, 1992, p. A35.

The U.S. Commerce Department licensed the following strategic American exports for Saddam Hussein’s atomic weapon programs between 1985 and 1990. Virtually all of the items were shipped to Iraq; all are useful for making atomic bombs or long-range missiles. United Nations inspectors in Iraq are still trying to find most of them. The list is based on Commerce Department export licensing records; the dollar amount of each transaction is as claimed by the exporting company. It was compiled by Gary Milhollin, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, and Diana Edensword, a research analyst at the project.

Atomic Bomb Builders

Sales to: Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, the main atomic research laboratory; Badr and Daura sites, where bomb fuel was made; Al Qaqaa site, where detonators were made.

Canberra Elektronik: computers for measuring gamma rays and fast neutrons — $30,000

Cerberus Ltd.: computers — $18,181

Hewlett Packard: computers; electronic testing, calibration and graphics equipment — $25,000

International Computer Systems: computers useful for graphic design of atomic bombs and missiles — $1,600,000

Perkin-Elmer: computers and instruments useful for quality control of bomb fuels — $280,000

TI Coating Inc.: equipment for coating metal parts, useful for bomb production — $373,708

Atomic Bomb and Missile Builders

Sales to: Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization, which ran the atomic bomb, missile and chemical weapon factories;Nassr state enterprise, where equipment for enriching atomic bomb fuel was made; Salah Al Din site, where electronic equipment for missiles and atomic bombs was made; Ministry of Defense, which oversaw missile and atomic bomb development.

Axel Electronics: capacitors — $84,000

BDM Corporation: computers; computer-assisted design equipment — $52,000

Canberra Elektronik: computers for computer-assisted design — $21,552

Carl Zeiss: microcomputers for mapping — $104,545

Consarc Corporation: computers to run machine tools capable of manufacturing atomic bomb parts (this sale was stopped by Presidential order in June 1990) — $525,550

Data General Corporation: computers for mapping — $324,000

Gerber Systems: computers to run machine tools capable of manufacturing atomic bomb and missile parts — $367,428

Hewlett Packard: computers for making molds; frequency synthesizers and other equipment useful for operating secured military communications systems — $1,045,500

Honeywell Inc.: computers — $353,333

International Computer Systems: computers for manufacturing, tool design and graphics — $4,497,700

International Computers Ltd.: computers — $687,994

Leybold Vacuum Systems: computer controlled welder used by Iraqis to produce centrifuges for making atomic bomb fuel — $1,400,000

Lummus Crest: Radio spectrum analyzers; design computers; computers for factories producing mustard gas ingredients — $250,000

Rockwell Collins International: equipment for navigation, directional finding, radar communications or airborne communications — $127,558

Sackman Associates: computers and instruments capable of analyzing metals and powders for atomic bomb and missile manufacture — $60,000

Siemens Corporation: computers and instruments capable of analyzing metals and powders for atomic bomb and missile manufacture — $78,000

Spectra Physics: lasers; detection and tracking equipment for lasers — $19,000

Unisys Corporation: computers — $2,600,000

Wild Magnavox Satellite Survey: computers for processing satellite images that are useful for military mapping and surveillance — $270,000

Zeta Laboratories: quartz crystals for military radar — $1,105,000

Missile Builders

Sales to: Saad 16, the main missile research site; State Organization for Technical Industry, the procurement organization for missile sites that bought most Scud missile parts and equipment.

BDM Corporation: computers; superconducting electronics — $29,405

Carl Schenck: computers — $10,228

EZ Logic Data: computers — $27,800

Finnigan MAT: computers that U.N. inspectors believe monitored uranium enrichment for atomic bomb fuel — $483,000

Hewlett Packard: electronic testing equipment; computers; frequency synthesizers; radio spectrum analyzers — $599,257

International Computer Systems: computers — $1,375,000

International Imaging Systems: computers for processing satellite data; infrared equipment capable of aerial reconnaissance and military surveillance — $988,000

Lummus Crest: computers to aid factory design — $44,320

Perkin-Elmer: computers — $24,560

Scientific Atlanta: equipment for producing radar antennas — $820,000

Semetex Corporation: computers — $5,155,781

Spectral Data Corporation: satellite data processing equipment — $26,880

Tektronix: high-speed electronics useful in developing atomic bombs and missiles; radio spectrum analyzers for developing microwave equipment — $102,000

Thermo Jarrell Ash Corporation: computers for testing materials — $350,898

Unisys Corporation: computers for production control — $7,796

Veeco Instruments Inc.: computers for factory design — $4,640

Wiltron Company: equipment for making radar antennas — $49,510