India’s strategic space-based surveillance (SBS) programme has suffered a huge setback. Following last-minute US pressure, the launch of an Indo-Israeli spy satellite with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) was aborted literally at the launch pad stage.
Images from the satellite, with sub-metre picture resolution, would have significantly boosted India’s intelligence-gathering abilities. The satellite is capable of obtaining sharp images of civilian construction activities, including nuclear plants, that may have a strategic bearing. It can also scan cloud-covered mountain peaks. Lack of this capability enabled Pakistan-backed militants and army regulars to entrench themselves on the heights of Kargil, necessitating a huge armed response with many casualties.
If the SAR satellite had been launched on schedule, it would have been a first for both Israel and India. This is the second strategic programme to have received a setback after American intervention in recent times. Earlier, India curtailed the range of its missiles under development to 5,000 km under US pressure.
Monday, December 03, 2007
And here's the bad news. Yankee poodle MMS succumbs to pressure from pompous officialdom in the US State Department, abandons launch of spy satellite with cloud penetrating imaging capability. This is what happens when an anatomically deficient individual (nomenclature credit to Swapan DasGupta, The Pioneer) becomes the chief executive - Yanks acquire a veto on every aspect of policy making; India becomes a banana republic.