(photo credit: AP)
India sent an intelligence-gathering satellite into space on Monday that was designed in Israel.
India launched the RISAT-2 satellite aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The satellite, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries, is based on a specially-designed technology called SAR (synthetic aperture radar) that enables the satellite to provide imagery 24 hours a day and under any weather conditions.
The new satellite bolsters India's presence in space. Last year, Israel launched the TECSAR satellite from India that, like the RISAT, uses radar to create high-resolution images. Israel also operates the Ofek 5, Ofek 7, Eros A and Eros B spy satellites.
According to reports in the Indian press, New Delhi asked Israel Aerospace Industries to speed up production of the satellite following the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November to keep an eye on its borders, stretching from Pakistan to China. The satellite can also be used to gather intelligence on Iran.