Joint German/French spy satellite now deployed

The German military has deployed its first radar-based spy satellite system, as of today. The satellite project, codenamed SARLUPE, is meant to complement France’s HELIOS II military satellite system. The French system is far stronger than the German system. However, as it is not radar-based, it cannot spy during nighttime or in overcast weather conditions. This problem is now solved by the German satellite, which “will be able to take radar pictures of any place at about 10 hours’ notice”, according to a DPA report. Interestingly, Vice Admiral Wolfram Kuehn, Deputy Chief of the German Armed Forces, made a speech stating that the implementation of SARLUPE means that Germany and France “no longer needed to depend on US data”. The example he gave was the 1998-1999 Kosovo War, which “demonstrated to us how important it was to have your own worldwide reconnaissance capability”. The jab was likely aimed at the Kosovars, as much as at the Americans. Last month, three deep-cover German Federal Intelligence Service agents, employees of Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, were arrested and summarily expelled from Kosovo. Their arrest is likely to compromise an “extensive network of informants among high-ranking functionaries of the KLA and the Kosovar administration […] which is more extensive in Kosovo than in most countries around the world”, according to a report in Der Spiegel. [JF]

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About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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