Israeli defence to focus on spy satellites news

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  1. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    Israeli defence to focus on spy satellites news


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    14 May 2011

    Tel Aviv: Israel has disclosed that it will set aside substantial funds for launching spy satellites designed to provide real-time surveillance of Iran and other "areas of interest" on a round-the -clock basis.

    Currently, Israel has six spy satellites in orbit - four state-owned and two private -which provide imagery and other data to the military's intelligence corps.

    However, only one of the six satellites, the high-resolution TecSar 1, which is equipped with the advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar, is able to transmit images at night and in bad weather. The TecSar was built by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and launched from India in January 2008 amid considerable secrecy.

    But even the TecSar has its limitations, being able to observe "areas of interest" about every 90 minutes.

    The Israeli defense establishment now wants more low-orbit satellites, with advanced surveillance equipment, to provide constant coverage of target areas, such as Iran or Syria.

    Other 'observational satellites' in orbit include three 'Ofek' series 5,7, and 9, also built by IAI, and the Eros A and B commercial satellites.


    Though Israel doesn't mention the 660-pound Risat-2 satellite, launched by India in April 2009, it carries IAI-built sensors and without doubt Israelis would have access to the data.

    Risat-2, a radar-imaging craft with multi-spectral aperture radar, was built specifically for military surveillance with Israeli technology immediately after the November 2008 Mumbai massacre by carried out by Pakistani terrorists.

    Cooperation with India for launch of satellites is vital for Israel, as due to its geographical location, Israel is able to launch such satellites only in a westward direction against the Earth's rotation. Such orientation limits the range of orbits over Iran.

    Launches from India allow Israel to launch eastward, allowing it to cover Iran more comprehensively.



    Under a new defence plan now being formulated, defence contractor Rafael is believed to be working on technologies which will enable low orbit spy satellites, weighing 220 lbs to be launched from American F-15 fighter jets.


    Israel now specializes in producing "mini satellites" like the 650-pound Ofek-9, in comparison to much larger spy satellites of other nations that weigh several tonnes.

    Israel's satellite industry is now gearing up for the launch of the Opsat 3000, which will boast of more powerful sensors than the Ofek series.


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