Washington: State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will partner with Americna defence major Northrop Grumman to design, produce and market military reconnaissance satellites for the US defense department. According to IAI officials the synthetic aperture radar satellites, capable of cluster-launch, would be lighter and more flexible than models currently in service.
According to company officials, the joint surveillance facilities would provide US government users with all weather, day/night-imaging capabilities.
"This new system provides a capability that complements both existing and US military and intelligence community capabilities being developed," Northrop Grumman vice president Alexis Livanos said. "When they want to move quickly on any given contingency, users now have an option that offers greatly reduced timelines for deploying tactical satellites at low cost and at very low risk."
Officials also said that the first low-earth-orbit satellites, estimated to cost less than $200 million each, could be delivered to customers before 2010.