India has purchased a spy satellite manufactured by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and plans to launch it into space in April.

The advanced satellite will help India defend itself against terror attacks of the kind that were carried out in Mumbai last November.

The news of the satellite purchase was reported by Indian sources, prompting reports in the Indian and international medias. According to the reports, India bought the satellite because of pressure from the Indian army following the Mumbai terror attacks.

India has spy satellites, but they are effective only during daylight conditions and are ineffective at night or under poor weather conditions.

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The Indian NDTV station reported the Risat-2 satellite, which weighs 280 pounds, would be launched by an Indian Polaris rocket, which was also used to carry the Israeli Tecsar satellite into space last year.

All reports indicate that the new, advanced satellite is fitted with a special radar, capable of identifying targets on the ground, even in the dark, inclement weather and during sand storms.

The Indians charge the terrorists who committed the attacks in Mumbai arrived by boat from Pakistan, and an effective spy satellite would have allowed them to identify the boat long in advance.

India’s decision to buy an advanced spy satellite from Israel raises security links between Israel and India to a new level. This marks the first time that Israel has been reported to have exported a spy satellite.

The deal places IAI in a small and very select club of spy satellite manufacturers and exporters. The other spy satellite manufacturers, such as the United States and Russia, are not prepared to sell their satellites to foreign countries.

According to other security reports in India, IAI is currently developing a surface-to-air missile for India. It has also purchased unmanned aerial vehicles, and there are a number of other deals that are in advanced stages.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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