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Home > News > Report

Israel to launch satellite in Indian spacecraft

Rediff News Bureau | September 21, 2007 12:12 IST

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Israel's defense forces will this week launch its most advanced satellite -- on the back of an Indian space mission.

The Jerusalem Post reports that with the launch of Tecsar, a state of the art satellite capable of transmitting the tiniest of images in all conceivable weather conditions, the country's defense capabilities will take a quantum leap forward.

The satellite, developed and manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, will be the first from that country with Synthetic Aperture Radar capabilities, which will permit the cameras to take pictures under the cloudiest, most foggy conditions.

The Post reports that this will be the first time Israel launches a satellite piggybacking on Indian facilities, in keeping with a decision made three years ago during a visit to India by Israel's then defense ministry director-general Amos Yaron.

The 300-kilogram satellite will be taken into space aboard India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in what industry experts say is a further step in India's attempt to grab a slice of the $2.5 billion global launch market. As with outsourcing, an attraction India offers for potential customers in this market is that it charges considerably less than space-capable Western nations.

Officials in India and Israel have declined to provide the date and time of the launch.

"Israel has technological defense capability of the first order," the Post quotes president Shimon Peres as saying, after visiting Elta, a division of Israel Aerospace Industries that Peres had helped found in 1953, when he was director-general of the defense ministry.

Peres is quoted as saying he would like every Israeli to know "that we have the best and most talented people in the world and we should be proud of their wonderful abilities."

Peres made it clear however that while Israel focuses on beefing up its military capabilities, the nation's abiding interest was in peace, not war.