November 14, 2005


India To Launch Israeli Spy Sat: Move Highlights Improving Relationship (BARBARA OPALL-ROME, TEL AVIV And K.S. JAYARAMAN, NEW DELHI
November 14, 2005, ISR Journal)

In a controversial break from a longstanding military space policy of strategic self-reliance, Israel has decided to launch its next spy satellite aboard India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rather than its own indigenous Shavit rocket. [...]

Government and industry sources here conceded that Israel’s embrace of the PSLV was driven in large part by a loss of confidence in the Shavit, which has had reliability problems over the past decade. The latest Shavit failure, in September 2004, destroyed the Defense Ministry’s estimated $100 million Ofeq-6 electro-optical imaging satellite.

But several Israeli officials insisted that other factors beyond risk mitigation led to the PSLV choice, including the desire to strengthen strategic cooperation with India, the MoD’s largest export customer.

According to multiple sources, India has begun discussions with the Defense Ministry and IAI regarding a possible purchase of a clone of the TechSAR satellite to enhance New Delhi’s strategic intelligence and targeting capabilities.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 14, 2005 10:46 PM
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