ROME --- Today at dawn the OPSAT-3000 satellite was launched from Kourou (French Guyana) Space Centre. Minister Pinotti: “Thanks to the OPSAT-3000 satellite Italy is now equipped with an important tool, able to increase our defence and security capabilities
"Thanks to the OPSAT-3000 satellite is now equipped with an important tool, able to increase our defence and security capabilities". This was defence Minister Roberta Pinotti statement on the occasion of the launch of the satellite, that has taken place today at dawn from the Kourou Space Centre (French Guyana).
"The OPSAT programme, a result of Italian industrial excellence – Pinotti continued- will allow joining radar (COSMO) and satellite (OPTSAT) imaging, thus allowing the collection of accurate information to respond to requirements that originate from the defence sector, but will be available to the Country, its bodies and agencies, for example in case of earthquakes, floods or wildfires".
The satellite was launched at 03.58, French Guyana time.
To celebrate the launch a ceremony – which included the broadcasting of the launch- has been held this morning, on the same day of the launch, at the new headquarters of the General Secretariat of Defence. National Armaments Directorate in Rome,
Besides Minister Pinotti, the event was attended by Underseretary of State for Defence Gioacchino Alfano. Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Claudio Graziano, Secretary General of Defence/National Armaments Director, A.F. Gen. Carlo Magrassi, top executives of Leonardo and Telespazio industries, representatives of the Italian Space Agency and of the Israeli and Polish defence -in their capacity as partners of the programme- have also witnessed the event. RAI journalist Silvia Rosa-Brusin presented the event.
During his speech Secretary of State for Defence Alfano underscored that "the Armed Forces are one of the national assets to be strongly engaged in la continued review of scientific knowledge and of its technological applications", and that "today, technological research exploits the incredible potential of outer space, that is gradually becoming e fundamental element of any security and defence policy".
"Italy – he said- is at the forefront in the aerospace sector, and can also boast quite a number of industrial facilities, an undisputed, unique wealth of tnational echnological and scientific competences."
The OPTSAT 3000 programme is part of this context, "which makes the Italian defence proud of this independent earth observation capability, equipped with an high-resolution optical sensor. This entails significant responsibilities in terms of Command and Control of the system".
Furthermore, OPSTAT 3000gives Italy a great opportunity to cooperate with Defence Ministries and institutions of other countries in other strategic military sectors, as well as government agencies and national institutional users. The Undersecretary added that "…incredible possibilities for the dual use of space originate namely from this coexistence of security and defence and civilian aspects".