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Space
Japan launches military satellite
Japan launches military satellite
© JAXA

| Staff writer 177 mots

Japan launches military satellite

On the same day as the historical meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un — Japan launched an IGS-Radar all-weather military observation satellite.

On 11th June — on the same day as the historical meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-unJapan launched an IGS-Radar all-weather military observation satellite.

The platform is the 16th in the IGS (Information Gathering Satellite) series and the 7th with radar imaging capability. Resolution is estimated at 50cm.

Lift-off occurred at 4:20 UTC from Tanegashima in the south of Japan. The launch vehicle was the 39th H-2A, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, in its baseline version (the one most commonly used).

Deployment of the IGS system started in 2003. The network — which currently counts six operational satellites, including four for radar observation — is expected to ultimately feature 10 operational satellites, including relay platforms.

The programme was launched in 1998, after a North Korean missile flew over Japan. It gives Tokyo an autonomous capability to monitor military activities in neighbouring countries, including North Korea, as well as observing zones hit by natural disasters.

The most recent IGS launch prior to the 11th June mission occurred in March 2017.

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