Israel's El-Op has delivered a 1m (3ft) -resolution camera for South Korea's advanced intelligence-gathering satellite, which is to be launched at the end of 2005. The company, an Elbit Systems subsidiary, also manufactured the payloads for Israel's Offeq intelligence satellites and the country's Eros civil Earth resources satellites, writes Arie Egozi.

El-Op was awarded the contract in 2001 by South Korean space research institute KARI, which operates under the auspices of South Korea's ministry of science and technology.

The payload will be installed on the Kompsat 2 lightweight Earth observation satellite, developed by KARI with support from EADS Astrium and planned for launch by Russian Rokot-KM booster from Plesetsk. Kompsat 1 was launched in December 1999. The electro-optical camera also has four 4m-resolution multispectral channels.

*  Japan will develop a new military reconnaissance satellite to continue monitoring of North Korea's missile and nuclear activities from 2009. With a budget of Y4.5 billion ($43.1 million), the satellite will be equipped with a camera system than can image several locations simultaneously. Two more first-generation reconnaissance satellites are scheduled to be launched in 2005-6.

Source: Flight International