Signals intelligence by alliances, nations and industries

Signals intelligence by alliances, nations and industries

::"This article is a subset article under the main article SIGINT, which addresses the unifying conceptual and technical factors in this intelligence discipline. This article describes how the discipline is used by multinational alliances and individual nations. It also describes the major vendors, who are often multinational. Since specific equipment is often used by multiple nations, see the platform descriptions in the main article. For specific collection platforms, see SIGINT Operational Platforms by Nation for current collection systems, and for context, see SIGINT in Modern History. For a complete hierarchical list of articles, see the intelligence cycle management hierarchy."

Multilateral SIGINT

Many organizations, national or not, are responsible for communications security as well as SIGINT; the organization makes codes and ciphers that it hopes opponents cannot break. There is a synergy between the two components; there is a saying among cryptologists that no one is qualified to create a cipher unless they have successfully cryptanalyzed a cipher of equivalent complexity.

Many US and allied SIGINT activities are considered Sensitive Compartmented Intelligence, and carry the special security marking, "HANDLE THROUGH COMINT CHANNELS ONLY", which is abbreviated as a suffix to the security classification. SECRET SIGINT material would be marked (S-CCO). For exceptionally sensitive TOP SECRET material, there might be an additional codeword, such as (TS-CCO-RABID).

ASEAN and Related Groups

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) consists of five countries of the region: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. All have concerns with Islamic terrorism, and most are also concerned with piracy. Formed in 1967, the countries also shared several decades of concern over Communist threats. Their cooperation improved over time, although there still was support from outside powers.

Given Singapore's small size but potent military, it made basing arrangements in Singapore, in Malaysia and the Philippines. Thailand and Malaysia have a good record working together against the Communist Party of Malaysia.

For some years, the ASEAN countries have held annual intelligence summits. It is unclear, however, if intelligence ties preceded or followed the development of military relationships [cite
author = John C. Margeson
title = Cooperation Among Foreign Intelligence Services
journal = Contemporary Perspectives and Review
publisher = Duncan Campbell
date = 12 January, 2007
url =
id = Margeson 2007
accessdate = 2007-10-16
] . The author poses the challenge, "Do arrangements such as ECHELON exist outside the relationships between "great" powers? Literature shows that broad relationships exist among regional powers for various reasons. In the case of ASEAN, states brought together to fight communist insurgency find that they can maximize security by cooperating in covert operations and intelligence sharing."

Technology has accelerated ASEAN intelligence cooperation. For example, Malaysia and Singapore jointly monitor the South China Sea electronically. It is reasonable to assume that the less sensitive aspects of SIGINT, such as direction finding are part of that surveillance. Other sources include the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) of Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, which includes three members of the UKUSA alliance with strong national SIGINT organizations.

Spurred by terrorism concerns, the ASEAN states, in May 2002, agreed on an ActionPlan that provided for enhanced cooperation in intelligence sharing and coordination of anti-terror laws [cite
author = Sheldon W. Simon
title = U.S. Policy and Terrorism in Southeast Asia
publisher = Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
date = June 2003
url =
id = Simon 2003
accessdate = 2007-10-16
] . In August 2002, ASEAN and the United States issued a “Joint Declaration . . . to Combat International Terrorism," which was followed by an ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting on terrorism, to be jointly sponsored by Malaysia in the US. The US proposed that a regional counterterrorism training center be established in Malaysia. Accompanying the Anti-Terrorism Center is an intelligence-sharing agreement among Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand, a first meeting of which was held in Manila in January 2003. An obvious question, without a simple answer, is how much SIGINT capabilities these countries have.

Some of these countries are reluctant to get too close to the US, involving nationalist issues in the Philippines and Islamic parties in Malaysia and Indonesia. Singapore, among the regional nations, seems most comfortable in exchanging intelligence information with the US, especially receiving SIGINT in return for HUMINT. Singapore has established sharing between the US PACOM Joint Intelligence Center and Singapore’s Joint Counterterrorism Center, and Singapore also is leading in accepting US goals for maritime security, with a Strategic Goods Control law in January 2003. That law made Singapore the first major port to meet US homeland security rules for cargo. Singapore wants more US X-ray equipment, and possibly MASINT sensors.

US relations to an ASEAN or other group may be more domestically acceptable, in countries suspicious of the US, than bilateral arrangements. There are obvious reasons for regional nations wanting US intelligence support, including SIGINT. Nevertheless, the eagerness of the US to help against Islamic groups strikes at local sensitivities.

UKUSA Agreement

SIGINT and security procedures are closely coordinated under what is called the UKUSA Community, which includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is widely rumored that those five nations cooperate in a major SIGINT activity codenamed ECHELON. Of the UKUSA partners, NSA is the US element, Britain's is the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Canada has the Communications Security Establishment and a few other small groups. Australia puts these activities in the Defence Signals Directorate. New Zealand has the Government Communications Security Bureau.


It is fair to say that there is "something" called ECHELON, and it is very large. There is no unclassified definition of what it really does, and there are conflicting unofficial reports on its capabilities and operations. citation
author = Duncan Campbell
title = Signals intelligence and human rights: the ECHELON report
version =
publisher = Duncan Campbell
date = 9 June 2000
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-11
] is the source of much information, but many of his claims have been challenged by independent sources. It is a 2000 report, and his claims that NSA has published no details of its operations is not the case in 2007. Another extensive report is that of the European Parliament in 2001 citation
author = European Parliament
title = Report on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system) (2001/2098(INI
date = 11 July 2001
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-11
] . Campbell himself refined his definitions a year later [cite paper
author = Duncan Campbell
title = Echelon and its role in COMINT: Interception Capabilities - Impact and Exploitation
version =
publisher = Telepolis
date = 2001-05-27
url =
id = Campbell 2001
accessdate = 2007-10-16
] . His "strict" definition of ECHELON is that it is a satellite interception component of the partners of the UKUSA Agreement. Even among the UKUSA members, according to Campbell, there may be other satellite interception stations not called ECHELON, probably in Australia and possibly in Great Britain.

It is generally accepted that ECHELON is a cooperative system, principally among the UKUSA Agreement partners, to intercept satellite, microwave, and other communications around the world, searching for information of interest to its members. The geographic distribution of the members allows much more effective worldwide coverage. This article does not replace the separate ECHELON Wikipedia article, but will complement it.

Campbell cites Jeffrey Richelson as defining, in the 4th edition of "The American Intelligence Establishment", an "official" list of "third party" participants in ECHELON (or perhaps the UKUSA SIGINT alliance) as Norway, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Austria, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. Campbell further indicated that US payments to Norway and Denmark were stopped in 1992, and those countries intended to do their own satellite interception.

There are also conflicting reports about the relationship, if any, between ECHELON and US government warrantless monitoring wanted by the George W. Bush administration. Many reports focus on ECHELON's capability to intercept signals transmitted through free space, such as microwave and communications satellites. Given that much of the world's communications have moved to optical fiber cables, which are difficult but not impossible to intercept.

Much ECHELON specification is based on clues, such as noting the geographic location of various large satellite receiving antennas, then plotting the vertical and horizontal coordinates of the parabolic "dish" of the antenna. These can be correlated with the known positions of communications satellites to project that the antenna is intended to receive the signals of a particular satellite.

Other countries may be cooperating with the UKUSA countries, including Ireland and Switzerland, although Switzerland has an independent capability. There are also conflicting reports about France cooperating with ECHELON, but also operating an independent capability.


Communications and data exchange electronics are intended to be interoperable among NATO members, although not all countries will share sensitive data. Tactical information usually will be shared.

Other Coalitions

UN and other, often "ad hoc" international coalitions have no predefined SIGINT interoperability; establishing even basic communications interoperabilities is one of the first and most urgent tasks of any coalition.

National SIGINT


Australia's main organization is in the Defence Signals Directorate. It operates collection stations for multilateral and national use. Australia has systems interoperable with UKUSA, and ECHELON.


Canada has the Communications Security Establishment and several other groups, especially military tactical groups. Canada has systems interoperable with NATO nations, UKUSA, and ECHELON.


China's main SIGINT effort is in the Technical Department, or Third Department of the General Staff Department of the Central Military Commission,IOSS-3] with additional capabilities, primarily domestic, in the Ministry of State Security (MSS). SIGINT stations, therefore, are scattered through the country, for domestic as well as international interception. Prof. Desmond Ball, of the Australian National University, described the largest stations as

:*the main Technical Department SIGINT net control station on the northwest outskirts of Beijing :*large complex near Lake Kinghathu in the extreme northeast corner of China

As opposed to other major powers, China focuses its SIGINT activities on its region rather than the world. Ball wrote, in the eighties, that China has several dozen SIGINT stations aimed at Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and India, as well as internal communications...."

Of the stations apparently targeting Russia, there are sites at Jilemutu and Jixi in the northeast, and at Erlian and Hami near the Mongolian border. Two Russian-facing sites in Xinjiang (Sinkiang), at Qitai and Korla may be operated jointly with resources from the US CIA's Office of SIGINT Opeations, probably focused on missile and space activity.

Other stations aimed at South and Southeast Asia are on a net controlled by Chengdu, the capital of Szechuan. There is a large facility at Dayi, and, according to Ball, "numerous" small posts along the Indian border.

Other significant facilities are located near Shenyang, near Jinan and in Nanjing and Shanghai. Additional stations are in the Fujian and Guangdong military districts opposite Taiwan.

On Hainan Island, near Vietnam, there is a naval SIGINT facility that monitors the South China sea, and a ground station targeting US and Russian satellites. China also has ship and aircraft platforms in this area, under the South Sea Fleet headquarters at Zhanjiang immediately north of the island. Targeting here seems to have an ELINT as well as COMINT flavor.

There are also truck-mounted mobile ground systems, as well as ship, aircraft, and limited satellite capability. There are at least 10 intelligence-gathering auxiliary vessels.

As of the late nineties, the Chinese did not appear to be trying to monitor the US Pacific Command to the same extent as does Russia. Whether they will attempt to do so depends, in part, on the status of Taiwan. Harv | ChineseSIGINT


While Cuba had traditionally been a Soviet client, it both has been developing indigenous capabilities, including equipment design and manufacture, as well as having Chinese-operated stations on its soil. Within the Cuban intelligence ministry, a Counter-Electronic Warfare Department was established in 1997, at the same level as the Technical Department and the Foreign Intelligence) Department. In 1992, a tactically oriented Counter-Electronic Warfare Department was created. The national intelligence organization also runs electronic warfare and SIGINT for the Air Force and Navy. citation
last = Cereijo
first = Manuel
title = Cuba and Information Warfare
url =
id = CubaIW
accessdate = 2007-10-13
] .

Russia and China, at various times, have operated or are operating intercept stations in Cuba, as well as Cuban-operated facilities. The largest and best-known, Lourdes SIGINT Station, was shut down by Russia in 2001, along with the Russian station at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnamcitation
last = Cable News Network
title = Russia to close Cuban spy station
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-13
] . Four ground stations (q.v.) are in Cuba, two of which are operated by China.


Denmark is a NATO member and thus has access to a wide range of SIGINT equipment and techniques. A journal article (information from abstract on Ingentaconnect) from 2001 states that all four countries of Scandinavia, including NATO members Denmark and Norway, and neutral Sweden and Finland, cooperated in collecting SIGINT on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Norway and Denmark did not allow American personnel in their intercept centers, but did receive American financial and technical help. The author suggests Sweden, while neutral, cooperated with US and UK intelligence in the early stages, and possibly later, in the Cold War.citation
last = Jacobsen
first = Alf R.
title = Scandinavia, Sigint and the Cold War
journal = Intelligence and National Security
publisher = Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
volume = 16
pages = 209-242
date = Spring 2001
url =;jsessionid=sfpjjgmw0q9j.alice?format=print
accessdate =2007-10-16
] The Danish Sigint service, Forsvarets Central Radio, was also active at the same time, and fed the U.S. data from 8 stations located from Greenland to Bornholm.citation
last = Interagency OPSEC Support Staff (IOSS)
title = Operations Security Intelligence Threat Handbook: Section 3, Adversary Foreign Intelligence Operations
date = May 1996
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-03
] He states that US funds from the 1950 agreement were cut off, to Norway and Denmark, in 1992, and those two countries planned to do their own satellite interception. It should be noted that the Pusher HF/DF system used by Denmark is not designed for satellite but for terrestrial interception; it is not clear what, if any, effect that the reported US funds cutoff had on the Pusher system output.

The Danish periodical, "Ekstra Bladet", on Sept. 18, 1999, published an article titled "WHERE THE SPIES ARE LISTENING -- Take a walk with us through the most secretive secrets of the FE (the Intelligence Agency of the Danish Armed Forces)cite mailing list
last =Elkjaer
first =Bo
title = SIGINT SITE EXPOSED - Sigint/Surveillance/Denmark
mailinglist =
date = 26 Dec 1999
url =
accessdate =2007-10-16
] . The authors describe a visit to an apparent SIGINT collection facility, called Sandagergård, at Aflandshage south of Copenhagen. Sandagergård is operated by the Danish intelligence agency. According to the article, Denmark has participated, since 1947, in ECHELON. Denmark participates in the global surveillance system known today as UKUSA, and known in the press as Echelon. The agreement was reached with Cdr. P.A. March, then second in command of FE, with the American OSS, predecessor of the CIA. It should be noted that the CIA was formed by the National Security Act of 1947, and, by 1947, the OSS had been dissolved although there were interim agencies that might have negotiated an agreement.

The agreement was that the Americans were to supply the equipment free of charge. Denmark's payment was to allow a large American ear to listen in on everything that was intercepted by Denmark's FE agents. In 1950, the agreement was formalized by Commander Finn Haugsted and Minister of Defense Rasmus 'Jetfighter' Hansen. The article cites Cdr. March's memoirs as the source, and says he refers to the Danish SIGINT organization as 'the Social Democrat's Child' Under the agreement, the US was to supply the technical equipment, while Denmark would supply the land and staff.

In 1999, however, the Social Democratic Minister of Justice, Minister of Defense former Minister of Research (responsible for Denmark's telecommunications) denied knowledge of ECHELON.

When the journalists visited the Sandagergård facility, they saw a Pusher HF/DF system, which is a smaller version of the Wullenweber intercept & direction-finding antenna, and two radomes. Discarded paper and packing materials identified shipments of products from IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation, Microsoft and Unisys. They also identified a SIGINT post at Skibsbylejren near Hjørring.

This report clearly shows that Denmark operates SIGINT equipment. It cannot be determined, from this information alone, if the operation is for Danish use only, in support of NATO, or indeed part of ECHELON. Denmark hosts the regional NATO command for the Baltic Approaches (BALTAP) from a base at Karup.

In September 1999, Minister for Defense Hans Hækkerup said Denmark cooperates with other countries on surveillance, but would not identify the countries or agencies. Elklaer1999 According to the authors, the US 650th MI Group is the sole point of contact to NATO. Denmark.


Finland, while neutral, was reported to be cooperating with the other Scandinavian countries in obtaining SIGINT on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.Jacobsen2001]


The French intelligence agency DGSE has responsibility for national-level SIGINT, including a and the . There are multiple .

A French Army publications mentions Emeraude citation
last = French Ministry of Defense. Center for Doctrine for Employment of Forces
title = Main Equipment Currently Fielded within the Land Forces
date = 2003
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-03
] as an apparently tactical SIGINT "listening module". Press reports suggest there is another system, nicknamed Frenchelon in the press, run by DGSE and possibly providing economic intelligence to French industry.


After the end of the Cold War, Germany treated military-related SIGINT differently than other nations, making it a part of the defense-wide electronic warfare organization rather than an intelligence organization. The first unit was set up in Osnabruck in 1957. In 1959, German and Dutch SIGINT personnel met to establish a long-standing, especially close cooperation. Today Germany operates many different . [Cite journal
last = van der Meulen
first = Michael
title = German Air Force signal intelligence 1956: A museum of comint and sigint
journal = Cryptologia
date = July 1999
year = 1999
url =
id = van der Meulen 1999
accessdate = 2007-10-16
] .


Greece's main SIGINT organization is Branch E of the national (civilian) intelligence service, "Ethniki ypiresia pliroforion" (EYP). Branch E reports to the Deputy Director General A, who reports to the Director General [citation
author = Michaletos Ioannis
title = The Greek National Security Organizational Structures
journal = Research Institute for European and American Studies
year = 2007
url =
id = Ioannis 2007
accessdate = 2007-10-20
] .

The military has limited tactical capabilities, interoperable with NATO. A 12-day major exercise in Greece, Trial Spartan Hammer (TSH) ‘06, involved 2,000 personnel from 14 NATO countries and 15 NATO agencies, including the SIGINT & ESM working group (SEWG) under the NATO Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Capability Group. It was the second NATO joint Signal Intelligence/Electronic Warfare (SIGINT/EW) demonstration. [Citation
author = Michaletos Ioannis
title = SPARTAN HAMMER 06 Canadian’s hit the nail on the head
journal = The Maple Leaf: National Defence and the Canadian Forces
date = 14 February 2007
volume =10
issue = 5
url =
id = Maple Leaf 2007
accessdate = 2007-10-20
] . Canadian Forces involved included the Electronic Warfare Centre (CFEWC), HMCS Iroquois, 772 EW Squadron, the Joint Intelligence Fusion Capability and the Directorate of Space Development.


An Irish magazine suggests that Ireland is abandoning some of its neutrality and becoming more allied with ECHELON. [Cite journal
journal = The Phoenix
volume = 18
issue = 9
pages = 20–21
date = May 5, 2000
year = 2000
url =
id = Phoenix-IE
accessdate = 2007-10-06
] One motivation may be that "C3 (Garda Intelligence and Security) will get a few crumbs of information about Irish druggies in Amsterdam".


India is implementing AWACS and SIGINT using the Israeli Aircraft Industries Phalcon, which will be installed in Russian Ilyushin-76 aircraft, the same aircraft used for Russia's own A-50 AWACS.

India's main SIGINT directorate is under the Ministry of Defense.


In 1996, Japan created its first post-WWII major intelligence organization, the Defense Intelligence Headquarters (DIH) cite paper
title = Japan Primer
publisher = University of Texas
date = 2007
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-06
] .

Its SIGINT Division is the largest in the organization, with a Ground Self Defense Force unit in Ichigawa, targeting North Korea. The Division also has two Wullenweber intercept and direction finding, as well as offices in Kobunato (in Niigata Prefecture), Oi (in Saitama Prefecture), Tachiarai (in Fukushima Prefecture), and Kikaijima (in Kagoshima Prefecture).


Beginning in the 1990s, and according to Citation
author = William M. Arkin
first = Ryan
title = Keeping Secrets in Jordan
journal = Wired
year = 2006
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-19
] with a declaration of Jordan as a combat zone for U.S. personnel on Sep. 19, 2001, there has been increasing intelligence cooperation between the US and Jordan. Arkin states there are permanent US SIGINT ground stations now in Jordan.

New Zealand

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) is responsible for signals intelligence was established in 1977, with responsibility for Communications and Technical Security as well as SIGINT. Computer security responsibilities were added later.

Predecessor organizations included the New Zealand Communications Security Committee (NZCSC), created after WWII, from the Prime Minister's Department, and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence. While New Zealand had SIGINT functions before WWII, in 1955, the function was organized into the New Zealand Combined Signals Organisation (NZCSO), under the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.

The TECSEC function of the Government, which essentially involves the provision of protection from eavesdropping or "bugging", was undertaken by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and the Ministry of Defence, prior to the formation of the GCSB. Those capabilities were however limited, and the role was passed to GCSB upon its formation.

During the mid 1970's (74-76) two separate reviews were conducted into the SIGINT and COMSEC activities of the New Zealand Government. One of the aims of the COMSEC study was to investigate the possibility of establishing vital operating standards and a capability to produce national cryptographic key material.

Formally established on 1 September 1977, the GCSB was located within the Ministry of Defence for reasons of cover. "The fact of" GCSB was disclosed, in 1980, to the Cabinet and Opposition Leader, but with SIGINT functions excluded. Only in 1984 was the SIGINT function of GCSB announced by the Prime Minister. In 1982, the HF radio interception and direction finding station at Tangimoana was opened.

After a number of reviews in the late 1980s, GCSB was separated from the Defence Ministry, reporting directly to the Prime Minister in 1989. This act coincided with the creation of the satellite communications interception station at Waihopai, near Blenheim [Citation
last = New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau
title = History of the GSCB
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-16
] .

According to Nicky Hagar, New Zealand is part of ECHELON via the UKUSA Agreement cite book
last = Hagar
first = Nicky
title = Secret Power, New Zealand's Role in the International Spy Network
publisher = Craig Potton Publishing
date = 1996
location = Nelson, NZ
isbn = 0-908802-35-8
] .


Norway, a NATO member, was reported to be cooperating with the other Scandinavian countries in obtaining SIGINT on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. According to Campbell, there were two bilateral agreements for a SIGINT alliance between Norway in the US, one in 1954 and the next in 1979. US funding, however, ceased in 1992, and Campbell said that the Norwegians planned to begin their own satellite interception.


Russia's approximate counterpart to NSA is FAPSI, with additional capability in the GRU Sixth Directorate.***

Russia with the FAPSI-GRU surveillance facility at the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen’s Ras Karma Military Airbase, near QaDub on Socotra Island which lies opposite the coast of Somalia at the mouth of the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Ocean. This facility allows intercept of signals from Afghanistan and Diego Garcia. Tupolev Tu-142M-Z ‘Bear’ – the Beriev A-50 ‘Mainstay’ and the IL-38 ‘May’ surveillance planes operate from bases in Syria, South Yemen, and Cuba. cite web
author = Aleksey Shcherbakov
title = View of the Security & Intelligence scene
date = 2006
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-21
] . Ports also support Russian SIGINT "trawlers", or, more correctly, small intelligence collection vessels.

Russia had operated large SIGINT stations in Cuba and Vietnam until 2001 CNN-SIGINT] , but the chief of the General Staff, Anatoly Kvashnin, while the station in Lourdes, Cuba had been vital during the cold war "Now, the military-political situation has changed and there has been a qualitative leap in military equipment. With that money we can buy and launch 20 communication, intelligence and information satellites, and buy up to 100 sophisticated radars," Given US SIGINT satellite launches typically are quoted in the billion-dollar range, this seems an odd calculation.

Vietnam found the Cam Ranh Bay station useful for information on Chinese movements in the South China Sea. While Russia took some equipment back with them, it is not known how much capability the Vietnamese still have.

There have been a number of reports that the US helped, using SIGINT satellites, Russian fighters to target and shoot down the Chechen leader, Dzhokhar Dudayev in April 1996 citation
first = Christopher C.
last = Harmon
title = Vulnerabilities of Terror Groups
date = March 2007
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-06
] .


Spain operates both a SIGINT ship and a SIGINT aircraft in an apparently strategic function. Its submarines have SIGINT, at least for targeting.

The air component is a 707 variant, modified by Israel and equipped with Israeli and Spanish electronics. As well as an Elta EL/L-8300 SIGINT system, the aircraft has a Tamam Stabilised Long Range Observation System (SLOS) high-resolution TV camera and recording systems. The SLOS is reported to have a range of at least 62 miles (100km). The aircraft has been reported around the western edge of North Africa, the Western Sahara and the Mediterranean.

Spain has been reported to have acquired an ex-East German AGI, which it may operate in cooperation with its SIGINT aircraft [cite web
last = HJH
title = Recycled AGI
journal = ENIGMA 2000 Newsletter
issue = Issue 27
date =March 2005
id = SpainAGI
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-08
] . The vessel concerned is the 1,900 ton renamed "Alerta". In East German service, she had extensive antennas and a large radome. Based in Cartagena, the SIGINT work is reportedly by two Israeli companies and a Spanish firm. A different source says that the SIGINT equipment is Russian. A Saturn 35 satellite antenna has been, according to Spanish sources, added.

Its submarines have at least tactical SIGINT. Spanish boats have the domestically produced Indra BLQ-355, which may have been exported.citation | last = Friedman
first = Norman
title = Up Periscope, Up Antenna: Hunter-Killer Submarines increasingly are Hunter-Gatherers of Intelligence
work = Journal of Electronic Defense
publisher = Harpoon Waypoint
date = February 2003
url =
id = Friedman2003 | accessdate = 2007-10-08
] With its participation in the EADS consortium, Spain obtains access to new technologies. Spain appears to be developing a coordinated SIGINT approach using submarine, ship, and aircraft platforms.


In 1942, Swedish SIGINT successes were such that it was split out from the General Staff's intelligence branch and made autonomous. At the end of WWII, it was suggested that of European nations, Sweden's SIGINT was second only to Great Britain'sCitation
last = Van Nederveen
first = Gilles
author2-link =
title = (review of) Swedish Signal Intelligence, 1900-1945 by C. G. McKay and Bengt Beckman
journal = Air & Space Power Journal
date = Fall 2003
accessdate = 2007-10-16
] .

Sweden's Defence Radio Institute, while neutral, was reported to be cooperating with the other Scandinavian countries in obtaining SIGINT on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe Jacobsen2001]


A number of reports suggest Switzerland both has its own SIGINT but may cooperate with ECHELON [Cite web
title =Swiss link to Echelon follows satellite sale
journal = News.ZDNet.CO.UK
date = 12 Dec 2000
year = 2000
url =,1000000308,2083131,00.htm
id = ZDnet-Swiss
accessdate = 2007-10-06
] . In the spring of 2000, Swisscom announced that it was selling its satellite earth stations, in Leuk, Geneva, Basel and Zurich, to a US firm, Verestar. Swisscom announced in spring 2000 that it would withdraw from the satellite industry to "concentrate on its core activities....The Swiss military sees the purchase of the satellite stations by the US as a potential threat to national security, arguing that the infrastructure could be used for spying." Verestar is a major European provider of Internet Exchange Points.

The article suggested Switzerland has independent capability. "Switzerland has been conducting its own satellite project since 1993, dubbed Satos 3. Initiated by security chief Peter Regli, it is similar to the Echelon project, but on a much smaller scale. Regli's successor, Dino Belasi, continues to develop the project with the objective of developing a network capable of dealing with "threats from technology, terrorism and nuclear weapons".

United Kingdom

The major SIGINT organization of Great Britain is the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The various military components have tactical SIGINT elements. MI-5, the counterespionage organization, also has specialized SIGINT capability for detecting receivers [cite book
authorlink = Peter Wright
coauthors = Paul Greengrass
title = Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer
publisher = Penguin Viking
date = 1987
url =
id = Wright 1987
isbn = 0-670-82055-5
] as well as illegal transmitters.

Britain is trying to find a balance between the very real "special relationship" with the US and the UKUSA partners, and still having a significant European role. Transnational terrorism, as well as multinational organized crime, have led to increased sharing among domestic security organizations. In the case of Britain, this is the Security Service MI5 with France's DST, Germany's BFV and the other domestic agencies in the so-called Club of BerneCitation
author = Charles Grant
title = Intimate Relations: Can Britain play a leading role in European defence -- and keep its special links to US intelligence?
journal = Centre for European Reform
date = April 2001
id = Grant 2001
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-20
] .

Britain and France

Cooperation with France, by any other government, because the multiple intelligence agencies do not coordinate well with each other. There is no equivalent of the British Joint Intelligence Committee JIC or US Intelligence Board (USIB). While priorities do come from a national Comité Interministériel du Renseignement, there is no central information and analysis coordination. The particular structure of the French government hurts centralization, because the President and Prime Minister both would want control.

Nevertheless, British and French intelligence, perhaps more on the foreign side, sometimes work closely, as an extension of the relationship formed when the British Special Operations Executive SOE helped the French Resistance. The relationship was strengthened when the French President, Mitterrand, ordered the French intelligence services to assist Britain in the Falklands conflict. France helped track an Argentine ship that was thought to be attempting to obtain additional French-made Exocet missiles.Grant2001]

The most important ELINT and radar MASINT cooperation between Britain and France was detailed radar information on the French Exocet anti-shipping missile, which had already sunk "HMS Sheffield" and threatened other ships. While the Argentines had only five Exocets, each could kill a ship, and they were trying to get more. Mitterrand's analyst disclosed several comments from Mitterrand during the Falklands war, specifically dealing with the British request for detailed information on the Exocet, so electronic countermeasures (ECM) could be planned to misdirect it. Mitterrand, according to his analyst, said, "I had a difference of opinion to settle with the Iron Lady. What an impossible woman, that Thatcher! “With her four nuclear submarines on mission in the southern Atlantic, she threatens to launch the atomic weapon against Argentina — unless I supply her with the secret codes that render deaf and blind the missiles we have sold to the Argentineans. Margaret has given me very precise instructions on the telephone."

Thatcher had already been surprised by an offer of French assistance. Again according to the analyst, Jacques Attali, his former aide, said that Mitterrand called her on the day after the Argentine invasion and told her: "I am with you."

Mitterrand told his analyst "She is furious. She blames me personally for this new Trafalgar . . . I have been forced to yield. She has them now, the [Exocet radar] codes. If our customers find out that the French wreck the weapons they sell, it’s not going to reflect well on our exports."Citation
author = John Follain
title = Falklands: "The Sphinx and the curious case of the Iron Lady’s H-bomb" (memoirs of Mitterrand’s psychoanalyst)
journal = The Sunday Times
date = 20 November 2005
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-20

While the highest levels of government may cooperate, and there is a good working relationship with the French domestic service, DST, there is less mutual aid between GCHQ and the French SIGINT organization in the DGSE. Part of this is that French and British targeting is different, with France focused on the Francophone countries of the world. The French also are suspicious of the British ties to NSA. During the Falklands war and in counterterrorism, there has been effective SIGINT cooperation.

It is not known if Britain will receive information from the French experimental Essaim.

Britain and Germany

There is HUMINT cooperation between German and British intelligence services.

United States

The National Security Agency (NSA) is the major SIGINT organization of the US. There are other SIGINT activities in other parts of the intelligence community, but NSA has the lion's share.There is SIGINT capability in several other agencies, often concerned with just one aspect, such as collection or tactical use. US military forces all have tactical SIGINT and COMSEC (Communications Security) units. The director of NSA wears a "second hat" as the director of the Central Security Service, which coordinates the military operations, which may both make use of national resources (i.e., TENCAP, or Tactical Exploitation of National Intelligence Capabilities) or provide data to the strategic analysts elsewhere in the intelligence community. There is a limited cryptanalytic capability, principally aimed at domestic criminals, in the FBI. CIA has some joint activities with NSA, which may include the covert or clandestine placement of SIGINT sensors.

US doctrine includes a flexible interface between the strategic and tactical, in military operations. Under the TENCAP program, warfighters can benefit from systems intended for the national intelligence level. Under the complementary Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities (TIARA) programs, tactical units acquiring information of interest to the national level can feed it up the chain to the appropriate organizations.

The interaction of the US intelligence community, especially COMINT, for domestic law enforcement and counterterrorism is extremely complex, balancing civil liberties versus security needs. There is no consensus on this balance and the matter is very controversial.

The SIGINT Industry

A variety of firms build SIGINT equipment, and the various government agencies typically have strong in-house prototyping. In the US, the major manufacturers are easy enough to find at trade shows such as that of the Armed Forces Communications-Electronics Association (AFCEA), but details are often scanty until there is a meeting at which classified information can be exchanged. Several firms, however, do have a much higher profile.

One challenge, especially in the US where there are many mergers and acquisitions, and in Europe where a consortium model is more common, is keeping track of the names of manufacturers. As one example, the SIGINT business of Watkins-Johnson, a SIGINT electronics vendor with a long history, was acquired in 1995 by Condor Systems. Watkins-Johnson refocused to make its core business the manufacture of components. Condor Systems, in turn, was acquired by EDO Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems Inc.(EDO RSS). An actual piece of equipment, however, might still have a Watkins-Johnson label.


A very large aerospace industry and defense industry vendor, Boeing makes many systems, including the 707 platform on which the US E-3 AWACS is built, and the 767 platform for Japan's AWACS. It is building the P-8 replacement for the P-3 maritime patrol aircraft, and has proposed a SIGINT variant [Citation
title = ACS Failure Fallout: Boeing to Offer SIGINT 737 (updated)
journal = Defense Industry Daily
date = 06-Feb-2006
year = 2006
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-12
] . See discussion of this aircraft under SIGINT#Aircraft Platforms

EADS Consortium

European Aeronautic Defence and Space CompanyEADS N.V. (EADS) is a large European aerospace corporation, formed by the merger on 10 July 2000 of Aérospatiale-Matra of France, Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) of Spain, and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (DASA) of Germany. The combined organizations, especially the French and German components, have extensive military electronics experience.

Elbit Systems

This Israeli firm, with worldwide strategic partners, owns all of the former Israeli military electronics manufacturer, Tadiran. It has US manufacturing operations, which sometimes create US export control restrictions. Elbit is teamed with Thales Group to produce the UK's standard UAV.

General Dynamics

A diversified US military contractor, it divested itself of aviation lines of business and now concentrates on land and naval systems. General Dynamics C4 Systems, in Scottsdale, AZ, makes SIGINT products including the Army's Prophet ground SIGINT system.


GTE Government Systems is now part of General Dynamics. GTE merged its communications operations with Verizon


A British firm that makes the "HARVESTER family of SIGINT database applications provide unique and cost-effective solutions to a wide range of collection requirements" has a website that can serve as a basic tutorial on the technical aspects of what SIGINT systems collect [Citation
title = HARVESTER Signals Intelligence Collection Software
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-08
] .

Israel Aerospace Industries

Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), which recently changed its name, is the largest defense contractor in Israel. It sells worldwide, although the United States has, on occasion, blocked a sale, which included US technology, to a nation the US considered unfriendly.

Within the context of SIGINT and related ISTAR product is the airborne Phalcon system, often described as an AWACS radar and battle management system, but having significant ELINT capabilities Citation
title = The Spyflight Website
date = 1 Jan 2007
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-09
] . Based on an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and antenna, the Phalcon fuses data from the radar, but also IFF, COMINT and ELINT sensors. When the supplemental sensors detect an item of interest, the system control computer begins an active search for more information from other on-board and ground-based sensors.

First exhibited in 1993, full Phalcon, other than one on an Israeli 707, has been sold to Chile and India (Ilyushin Il-76 platform), although a sale to the PRC was blocked by the US. A subset was sold to South Africa, and a miniaturized version will be installed in Israeli Gulfstream G550 SIGINT aircraft. This will include S- and L-band radars, as well as passive sensors. Citation
title = The Spyflight Website
date = 1 Jan 2007
chapter = Boeing 707 Phalcon
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-09


Another firm is Narus, which started as a security vendor for very large telecommunications and Internet service providers [Citation
title = NarusInsight Intercept Suite (NIS)
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-08
] , has a product called the "NarusInsight Intercept Suite (NIS) enables capture of packet-level, flow-level, and application-level usage information along with complete session packets for forensic analysis, surveillance, or for satisfying regulatory compliance."

Narus' CEO was interviewed about the general subject of cyberwarfare, perhaps an even broader problem than SIGINT [Citation
last = Jackson
first = William
title = Greg Oslan | The new war machine
journal = Government Computer News
date = 9/24/07
year = 2007
url =
id = NarusGCN
accessdate = 2007-10-08
] . Oslan, when asked to describe cyberwarfare, said "This is my opinion only, but I think that what would constitute an act of war over the Internet would be something that maliciously, directly cripples a country’s ability to function. If somebody brought down our electrical infrastructure and crippled our economy, I think that would be an act of war. How we could treat that, government to government, is a policy question. You are not using guns and bullets anymore. What is the appropriate response as your armies move from physical entities to virtual entities?" If one continued the military metaphor here, the armies, whether physical or virtual, need intelligence.

Large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) increasingly believe that "deep packet inspection" is required to protect their internal infrastructure, as well as their customers, from malicious hacking and computer crime Citation
last = Poe
first = Robert
title = The Ultimate Net Monitoring Tool
journal = Wired
date = 05/17/06
year = 2006
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-08
] . The same type of tools with legitimate ISP security applications also have COMINT interception and analysis capability. See "2000s" for a discussion of the surveillance capabilities of such software.

Northrop Grumman

A major US defense industry player, they make a variety of sensors, as well as the Global Hawk UAV, which uses Raytheon SIGINT electronics. The EuroHawk variant of this UAV has SIGINT electronics from EADS.EuroHawk-NG]


A British company founded in 1950, Racal is now part of Thales Group.


A major US defense contractor, Raytheon's own materials identify it as the SIGINT contractor for the Global Hawk Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) [cite web
last = Raytheon
title = Global Hawk Integrated Sensor Suite and Ground Segment
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-12
] . See further discussion of this product under Aircraft Platforms.

Swedish-South African-EADS

A consortium of Swedish CelsiusTech (formerly Saab Technologies) and Grintek Ewation, the latter a South African partnership with the European EADS consortium. Through their common international trademark Monitoring, Reconnaissance, Counter Measures (MRCM) they field a full range of SIGINT technologies. [cite web
last = Engelbrecht
first = Leon
title = Transformation in Global Defence Markets and Industries'NIC/IISS Conference
work = Journal of Electronic Defense
date = 4-5th November 2000
url =
id = Engelbrecht2000
accessdate = 2007-10-08


Thales Group is a French electronics company involved in, among others, defense and security markets. It was earlier called Thomson-CSF, but changed its name after acquiring Racal. Its ownership is split among the Government of France, Alcatel-Lucent, and Dassault Group.

Its joint venture to build the British Watchkeeper WK450 UAV, UAV Tactical Systems, is 51% majority owned by Israeli company Elbit Systems and Thales UK. US participation in Elbit imposes some US export controls.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Signals intelligence — SIGINT redirects here. For the UNIX signal, see SIGINT (POSIX). RAF Menwith Hill, a large site in the United Kingdom, part of ECHELON and the UK USA Security Agreement. Signals intelligence (often contracted to SIGINT) is intelligence gathering… …   Wikipedia

  • Signals intelligence in modern history — This article is a subset article of the article Signals intelligence, which addresses the unifying conceptual and technical factors and common technologies in this intelligence discipline. This article deals with signals intelligence in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Signals intelligence operational platforms by nation — This article is a subset article under the main article Signals intelligence, which addresses the unifying conceptual and technical factors and common technologies in this intelligence discipline. This article deals with current signals… …   Wikipedia

  • Counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism organizations — Counterintelligence, and closely related counterterrorism, may well be a source of positive intelligence on the opposition s priorities and thinking, not just a defensive measure. Still, foreign intelligence capability is an important part of… …   Wikipedia

  • Measurement and signature intelligence — (MASINT) is a branch of intelligence gathering activities. MASINT, may have aspects of intelligence analysis management, since certain aspects of MASINT, such as the analysis of electromagnetic radiation received by signals intelligence are more… …   Wikipedia

  • Clandestine HUMINT and covert action — National governments deal in both intelligence and military special operations functions that either should be completely secret (i.e., clandestine: the existence of which is not known outside the relevant government circles), or simply cannot be …   Wikipedia

  • Open-source intelligence — (OSINT) is a form of intelligence collection management that involves finding, selecting, and acquiring information from publicly available sources and analyzing it to produce actionable intelligence. In the intelligence community (IC), the term… …   Wikipedia

  • Market Intelligence — (often contracted to MARKINT) is a relatively new intelligence discipline that exploits open source information gathered from global markets. It relies solely on publicly available information such as market prices and ancillary economic and… …   Wikipedia

  • Cognitive traps for intelligence analysis — This article deals with a subset of the intellectual process of intelligence analysis itself, as opposed to intelligence analysis management, which in turn is a subcomponent of intelligence cycle management. For a complete hierarchical list of… …   Wikipedia

  • Business and Industry Review — ▪ 1999 Introduction Overview        Annual Average Rates of Growth of Manufacturing Output, 1980 97, Table Pattern of Output, 1994 97, Table Index Numbers of Production, Employment, and Productivity in Manufacturing Industries, Table (For Annual… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”