Sky Is The Limit For India-Israel Ties

India and Israel plan to strengthen co-operation in space research.
Director General of the Israel Space Agency (ISA) Avi Blasberger, who recently met Chief of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Aluru Seelin Kiran Kumar in southern Indian city of Bengaluru, has said that hostile neighbours pushed the two countries to forge defence and space ties. Speaking at a press conference, the visiting ISA chief said that both India and Israel “survived against huge odds in a very hostile neighbourhood”. Their survival, according to Blasberger, prompted New Delhi and Jerusalem to explore new ways to use space technologies in order to thwart the menace of terrorism. Blasberger believes that the proposed move will further help India and Israel meet the civilian applications of space.
In the presence of Kiran Kumar, the senior Israeli space scientist told the press that ISA and ISRO officials prepared a roadmap of co-operation in the high technology sector last week. Blasberger expressed hope that two Israeli Nano-satellites would be launched from Sriharikota in 2017, if all goes well. Sriharikota is a barrier island off the Bay of Bengal coast located in the southern Indian province of Andhra Pradesh.
Blasberger explained the importance of Indo-Israeli co-operation in space research, saying that one key area of bilateral co-operation would be to explore “remote sensing using microwaves”. According to the ISA director general, it is basically a technology where RadarSats or special birds are deployed for day and night surveillance. RadarSats have the ability to see through overcast cloudy skies, giving the enemy little room to hide. Blasberger further said that RadarSats could be described as “spy satellites”, as they could keep a track of one’s enemy round-the-clock in all weather conditions.
The Israeli scientist expressed satisfaction over the bilateral defence co-operation, stressing that the “environment between the two countries is very good and joint projects and joint space missions could be a big possibility”. Meanwhile, he admitted that Israel lacked an indigenous rocket that could launch a spy satellite. So, he said, India, which has east facing rocket port, could help the West Asian nation in launching such satellites.
Blasberger further hinted that Israel would supply RISAT-2 satellites to India. “Israel will be happy to provide more RISAT-2 type reconnaissance satellites to India, if New Delhi made a request. But what is most significant is that the two countries have now set up a special working group to enhance and explore how best ‘microwave imaging’ can help both countries,” he added, claiming that the satellite would help India protect its borders from enemies.

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