OPTSAT-3000 Earth observation satellite for Italy's MoD is ready to be launched

Leonardo is pleased to announce that the Italian Ministry of Defence’s  OPTSAT-3000 satellite is ready to be launched. The launch is scheduled for Wednesday 2 August at 1.58 UTC from the Kourou European spaceport in French Guyana.
 
OPTSAT-3000 consists of a satellite in a sun-synchronous LEO (Low Earth Orbit) orbit and of a Ground Segment for in-orbit control and for data acquisition and processing. OPTSAT-3000 will provide high-resolution images of any part of the globe, providing Italy with an autonomous national capability of Earth observation from space with a high-resolution optical sensor.
 
The whole system is supplied by Leonardo through its joint venture Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%). As prime contractor, Telespazio leads an international group of companies including, among others, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which built the satellite within an international co-operation agreement between Italy and Israel as well as OHB Italia that will be responsible for the launch, which will make use of the VEGA European launcher, produced by AVIO.
 
The ground segment is located over three operation centres: the Joint Satellite Remote Survey Centre (CITS – Centro Interforze di Telerilevamento Satellitare) in Pratica di Mare, the SICRAL Joint Management and Control Centre (CIGC - Centro Interforze di Gestione e Controllo) in Vigna di Valle and the Fucino Space Centre of Telespazio.
 
OPTSAT-3000 will jointly operate with the second-generation COSMO-SkyMed system of radar satellites – which has also been developed by Italian industry, with Leonardo and its joint ventures, Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) and Telespazio – integrating optical and radar data to provide the Italian Ministry of Defence with information characterised by extreme accuracy, resolution and completeness and with state-of-the-art analysis and operational tools.

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) -- In response to North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs and as a part of the continuing demonstration of ironclad U.S. commitment to its allies, two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers under the command of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, joined their counterparts from South Korea and Japanese air forces in a sequenced bilateral mission July 29, 2017.

The mission was in direct response to North Korea's escalatory launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles July 3 and July 28.

"North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability," said Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, the Pacific Air Forces commander. "Diplomacy remains the lead; however, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario. If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing."

After taking off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, the B-1s flew to Japanese airspace, where they were joined by two Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force) F-2 fighter jets. The B-1s then flew over the Korean Peninsula where they were joined by four South Korean air force F-15 fighter jets. The B-1s then performed a low-pass over Osan Air Base, South Korea, before leaving South Korean airspace and returning to Guam.

Throughout the approximately 10-hour mission, the aircrews practiced intercept and formation training, enabling them to improve their combined capabilities and tactical skills, while also strengthening the long standing military-to-military relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

U.S. Pacific Command maintains flexible bomber and fighter capabilities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater, retaining the ability to quickly respond to any regional threat in order to defend the U.S. homeland and in support of U.S. allies.

Source: Leonardo, A Finmeccanica Company
Date: Aug 1, 2017