Space: India Buys Israeli Eyes


March 22, 2009: India has bought a radar satellite from Israel, and will soon launch it using an Indian rocket. The low orbit RISAT 2 weighs 650 pounds and can identify items three meters or larger in narrow (a ten kilometers wide swath) beam or 50 meters using wide (240 kilometers wide) beam. Radar satellites are particularly effective for tracking ships at sea. Unlike photo satellites, radar is equally accurate at night, or when there is cloud cover.

Over the last decade, Israel has replaced France as the main supporter of Western military technology to India. Russia is still the main supplier, providing cheaper and less capable gear that India can afford, and is adequate for the local competition.




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