Space: September 19, 2000


Israel plans to pursue an expanded military reconnaissance satellite capability. Any new peace treaty would force it to give up buffer areas it has counted on for security. New generations of satellites could restore security by providing more warning of impending threats. Satellites are also needed to watch enemies farther away (e.g., Iran) which could in the near future strike Israel with ballistic missiles. What the Israelis really want, however, is a whole new tactical doctrine. Spy satellites would providing warning of everything from a missile launch to a tank division moving toward the border. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, quickly dispatched and able to orbit for days over enemy territory and safe from any attack due to stealth, would provide precise targeting. The targets would then be destroyed by a series of new weapons, including cruise missiles that could be reprogrammed in flight and high-speed air-to-ground missiles based on UAVs or manned fighters. Ultimately, the Israelis want to narrow the loop from detecting a threat to putting a weapon onto the target to as little as ten minutes.--Stephen V Cole


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