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Israel and India enter into agreement to develop high-res radar satellites

Mr. Avigdor ‘Avi’ Blasberger, the Director-General of the Israel Space Agency. Photograph courtesy of the Israel Space Agency.

The Israel Space Agency (ISA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have agreed to collaborate on space projects during a recent Israeli visit to India.

Avi Blasberger, the head of ISA, was accompanied by Israel’s Minister for Science, Technology, and Space, Offir Akunis, and former Minister of Science, Technology, and Space and Knesset member Yaakov Perry.

According to Israeli and Indian press reports, Israeli and Indian officials discussed several space and cyber security projects, to include the development of small high-resolution radar imaging satellites.

Israel and India already have a history of space cooperation dating back several years. In 2008, the Israeli commercial radar imaging satellite TecSAR was launched by ISRO. In 2009, Israel supplied India with a radar imaging satellite that New Delhi named RISAT-2.

The discussions between Israeli and Indian officials in Bengaluru are said to have included the creation of a joint working group on developing radar imaging satellites using microwaves.

Other areas of future cooperation in space include research on electric propulsion technologies and satellite communications.

Cyber security is another area ripe for Israeli and Indian cooperation given Israeli expertise in this area as well as Indian talent in coding. Further, both countries are seeking to do more to meet the challenges of an ever expanding threat environment in cyberspace.

Additionally, both Israel and India will likely benefit from the opportunities afforded by expanded cooperation in space and cyber security.

“Connecting academic institutions and industry from both countries will stimulate knowledge creation and foster innovation, techno-entrepreneurship, intellectual property and prototypes,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan, India’s Minister for Science and Technology, who met with Avi Blasberger and Offir Akunis during their visit to India.

“Israel is known as the startup nation and we can contribute, and be contributed to by Indian researchers, universities, etc. It works quite well,” said former Israeli Minister for Science, Technology, and Space Yaakov Perry. “India and Israel share the same values and are facing the problems, seeing the present and looking for the future. And I think that Israel can learn a lot from India and India can learn a lot from Israel.”

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