EL-OP OF ISRAEL, manufacturer of the optical-imaging system for the national Ofeq satellite, and OHB Systems of Germany have joined forces to develop a $10 million satellite, called the David, to provide 5m-resolution images for the commercial market. The 150kg satellite could be launched in 1998.

The move follows the formation of the joint venture between Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Core Software Technology of Pasadena, California, to raise funds to launch an $80 million civilian remote-sensing satellite, to provide reconnaissance-class images for the cartography, environmental, agricultural and fishing communities (Flight Inter-national, 6-12 March).

The IAI/Core spacecraft, which is based on Israel's Ofeq 3 satellite, will be launched on a Russian Molniya booster in 1997. Larger, second-generation, craft are also planned.

Thailand plans to develop a $1 billion military-satellite system, called the Star of Siam, consisting of communications and reconnaissance spacecraft, to be launched starting in 2000, following a feasibility study with the UK's Ministry of Defence, Matra-Marconi Space and British Aerospace Defence.

Source: Flight International