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Alliances | Asia - Other | China | Israel | Issues - International | Issues - Political | Other Corporation | Outer Space | Satellites & Sensors | USA

US-Israeli Covenant Forces Review of Civilian Satellite Deal With China

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Eros-A pic,Cape Canaveral(click to view full) In 2005, issues regarding Israeli weapons exports boiled over between Israel and the USA. Israel’s status as an observer in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program was suspended until a resolution in 2006 resulted in the USA assuming de facto veto power over all Israeli exports – even those that do not use American technologies, and fall outside of ITAR as non-military items, but could have potential security implications. Israel’s canceled $100 million deal to upgrade Venezuela’s F-16s at a time when America was still shipping spare parts is often touted as the first example of that covenant in action. A more recent illustration of that covenant’s effects was recently provided when China sought to purchase time-share use of an Eros-B satellite from the ImageSat International (ISI) joint venture. IAI’s Eros series is derived from Israel’s Ofek-5 military satellite, and provides sub-1.8m imaging similar to France’s Spot satellites, and Space Imaging’s IKONOS. Although the Eros is not classified as a military item, the ISI Satellite Operating Partner (SOP) program allows images to be streamed directly to a customer’s ground stations, and it was submitted for review – a review that may yet scupper the […]

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