debkafile: Technical problems hold up simultaneous launch of Indian and Israeli spacecraft aboard India’s polar rocket

India’s Cartosat-2A and Israel’s first military radar satellite Polaris/TecSat were to have lifted off together on Sept. 20 from India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle into an app. 600 km polar orbit from an island in the Bay of Bengal.
The launch was postponed at the last minute, debkafile‘s military sources report, after the Indian team voiced uncertainties about the rocket’s ability to carry the two spacecraft into orbit. Israel’s defense leaders were disappointed. The data-gathering features of Polaris 1 are especially pertinent for a potential attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and would complement the information gathered by the spy satellite Ofeq 7 put in space three months ago.
However, the chairman of India’s Space Research Organization, G. Madhavan Nair said: “We will go for simultaneous launch if it is technically feasible. There are some questions to be discussed. We are in discussion with them (Israel space agency)… But the target is for it to take place before the end of the year, said the Indian official.
The Indian Cartosat 2A spacecraft, whose features are kept secret, carries a powerful panchromatic camera with military applications. New Delhi is interested in buying Israel’s imaging radar satellite design for its reconnaissance operations which focus on Pakistan and China.
US and Indian military sources say that, if successful, the twin launch is important because it will add Israel to the few nations with imaging radar reconnaissance satellites able to distinguish camouflaged vehicles from rocky terrain – by night and through foliage.
debkafile‘s military sources add that the Israeli satellite’s ability to “see through” cloud and foliage and distinguish between camouflaged vehicles and rocks, provide an answer for Iran’s ingenious camouflaging methods employed by Hizballah in the 2006 Lebanese war.
Polaris 1 is electronically steered, and its synthetic aperture radar has a 1-meter resolution; its differing spot, mosaic and strip modes provide many different radar aspect angles from which to illuminate ground targets, a huge military asset for precise data-gathering on Iran’s military weapons systems.

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