An employee of the Russian software company Eagle Dynamics is currently in custody in the United States. The DCS developer has been jailed for smuggling, a “conspiracy against the USA” and violations of the Arms Export Control Act. According to the authorities, the accused Oleg T. is said to have smuggled several manuals for the Lockheed Martin F-16 to Moscow with the help of a Texan. In addition, T. had tried to obtain manuals for the two fighter aircraft of types F-35 and F-22. This was reported by the standard examiner last Sunday.
The incident is particularly piquant because Eagle Dynamics has been working on an F-16 for DCS World for quite some time (We reported). So far, however, the company has not officially commented on the allegations. However, a community manager has already announced the release of an official statement. As long as this is the case, nothing will change in the current plans. The article is in the forum of Eagle Dynamics.
According to information from the standard examiner, Oleg T. was jailed in Georgia and then extradited to the USA. The basis for this was a sealed indictment from 2016. T. had pleaded not guilty during his interrogation on the violations of the Arms Export Control Act. He needed the manuals to develop modules for the popular military flight simulator. However, an official request to the US government was not an option.
Jailed DCS Developer: Eagle Dynamics continues development of the F-16
Matt Wagner of Eagle Dynamics contradicts this view in an official statement on Tuesday afternoon. As a result, the company was not involved in any way in the machinations of its employee. The employee had acted in a purely private context and pursued exclusively personal interests. Eagle Dynamics itself develops its aircraft exclusively on the basis of public information. They have also never used or attempted to use information classified as secret. Furthermore, no documents subject to export restrictions had been found on the company’s systems.
Oleg T. had also not been involved in the development of the F-16 or related research. Matt Wagner affirms that his company will continue work on the F-16 and other modules as planned. “These events will not affect Eagle Dynamics’ commitment to its users and loyal community,” the statement states.
Homeland Security involved in investigation
An employee of the Department of Homeland Security divided the alleged conspiracy into two stages. First, Oleg T. asked the Eagle Dynamics forum for help in sending manuals for the F-16. T. had bought them at auction on Ebay, but was unable to ship them to Moscow due to shipping restrictions. Here a man from Texas offered help and sent the documents to Russia.
In March 2016, an undercover agent of the Department of Homeland Security contacted the Russian via the forum and posed as a buyer and seller of manuals for combat aircraft. In an online chat, Oleg T. expressed the wish to obtain manuals for the F-35 and F-22. The employee of Eagle Dynamics assured that the manuals would not be passed on to third parties. Even within the software company, not everyone should have access to the documents, Oleg T. had asserted.
The Arms Export Control Act
The Arms Export Control Act dates from 1976 and gives the US President control over the export of defence equipment. For the export of sensitive goods or technologies, companies therefore require a license. The details are regulated in the extensive ITAR regulations (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). The US Department of State is responsible for enforcing these regulations and consequently issues export licenses.
Addition from April 14, 2019, 21:45: We have added the official statement of Eagle Dynamics.