New EDA Project on Space-Based Earth Surveillance System

March 5, 2009 Brussels | The European Defence Agency (EDA) Steering Board has agreed to approve a project for the next generation European military earth observation satellites. This Multinational Space-based Imaging System (MUSIS) project has been launched by six European Union Member States: Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Italy and Spain. The project has now become an EDA Category B project and will be open to participation of other EDA participating Member States, if their proposed contribution is acceptable to the existing contributing Members.

The Agency’s Capability Development Plan (CDP) considers space-based imaging capacities essential for ESDP missions. The MUSIS project aims at establishing a multinational space-based imaging system for surveillance, reconnaissance and observation to ensure continuity of services from the current French Helios II, German SAR LUPE and Italian Cosmo-Skymed and Pléiades systems, from 2015-2017 onwards.

“Space-based related assets are critical to improve European military capabilities, including for informationgathering. The approved project will be critical to ensure this capability in the longer-term and I welcome very much the initiative of the six EU Member States to bring it to EDA”, Javier Solana, Head of the Agency, said.

One of the roles for EDA will be to seek synergies with earth observation programmes on the civilian side, in particular with the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme of the European Commission.

“This is another example of how EDA is proving its added value, not only in bringing together participating Member States’ efforts, but connecting at the same time military to civil space agendas. We will liaise with the Commission and the European Space Agency to ensure complementarity of research and technology, and to seek other synergies“, Alexander Weis, EDA’s Chief Executive said.

Company or Organisation Contact:
Raquel Patrício Gomes
raquel.patricio-gomes@eda.europa.eu

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