TecSat satellite 224.88.
(photo credit: IAI)
After several delays, the TecSar reconnaissance satellite was successfully launched Sunday overnight.
The rocket carrying the satellite was launched atop an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle [PSLV] rocket from the satellite launch pad in Sriharikata.
Weighing just under 300 kilograms, the TecSar was developed by the IAI's Space Division MBT and has the ability to create images of objects on Earth day and night, even in cloudy weather conditions - a capability not available in Israel's Ofek satellite series.
The TecSar is reportedly capable of imaging with a resolution of up to 10 centimetres.
The Ofek 7 is a camera-based satellite, while TecSar is capable of creating high-resolution images using synthetic aperture radar, an advanced radar technology.
Once in space, officials said, the TecSar would be by far the most advanced Israeli satellite. In addition to the Ofek 7, Eros B and the Amos 1 and 2 (both communication satellites), Israel operates the Ofek 5 spy satellite, successfully launched in May 2002. IAI plans to launch the Amos 3 in the coming months.
The decision to launch the missile from India was reached three years ago during a visit there by then-Defense Ministry director-general Amos Yaron. It is part of growing Indian-Israeli cooperation, which is scheduled to eventually lead to the launching of two more satellites.
The launch of the TecSar was the first launch of an Israeli satellite aboard an Indian missile.