Brazil Will Put a Civilian and Military Satellite Into Orbit Before 2014
By Dialogo September 26, 2011
Brazil aims to develop in the country a geostationary satellite with civilian and military applications and launch it before 2014, Brazilian Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo announced. The initiative foresees the development of several satellites with domestic technology, entirely developed and produced in Brazil.
Bernardo revealed that the project will be presented to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff the last week in September, after being debated by the heads of the ministries of Communications, Defense, and Science and Technology.
The satellite’s military applications will be administered by the Defense Ministry, while the civilian applications may be assigned to Telebras, the former state telecommunications company, which has been privatized and the excess assets of which have been restructured to pursue strategic communication projects put forward by the Government.
The Defense Ministry calculates that Brazil will need nearly 700 million reais (around 390 million dollars) to build the satellite, launch it, operate it from the ground, and insure it.
Brazilian Government representatives have already held conservations with their French counterparts and with private French firms about possible partnerships for technology transfer and satellite development.
Interconnection of Defense Systems
Ex-Defense Minister Nelson Jobim already announced several months ago that the ministry intended to “launch a satellite in order to interconnect defense systems throughout our territory and be able to monitor the country’s airspace and territory,” according to Xinhua.
The former minister affirmed that “the Brazilian Armed Forces currently need to rent channels on a satellite owned by a private firm backed by Mexican capital in order to guarantee their communications throughout our territory.”
Jobim alleged that the Mexican firm takes up to 36 hours to respond to an Armed Forces request to send a satellite image, and Brazil is not in a technological position to know whether third parties have had access to that image or to their communications.
The national satellite will enable the Armed Forces Command to have direct communication with battalions on the border, with planes in the national airspace, and with submarines in territorial waters.
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