Leonardo announced Monday it will launch the OPTSAT-3000 reconnaissance satellite Wednesday from the Kourou Europe’s spaceport in French Guyana on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Defense.
The satellite was delivered by Leonardo and developed via a joint venture with Thales, Telespazio, and other companies, including Israel Aerospace Industries. It will be placed in orbit using the VEGA European launcher system.
Once operational, the satellite will be capable of taking high-resolution reconnaissance photography and footage worldwide. It will be operated by three separate ground control stations in Italy.
OPTSAT-3000 is designed to work in concert with the COSMO-Skymed series of synthetic radar satellites partly developed by Leonardo. It would provide Italy with an independent national military satellite capability.
By Stephen Carlson