Тема: AzerSat 1
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Старый 03.06.2011, 07:17   #9
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Members of Congress seek safeguards in Azerbaijan satellite deal

U.S. legislators, citing Azerbaijan's threats and acts of aggression against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, continue to press for greater scrutiny of a recent decision by the Export-Import Bank (EX-IM) to finance a controversial satellite purchase by the oil-rich government of Ilham Aliyev, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA.)

During a May 12 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "Export Controls, Arms Sales, and Reform," Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) urged Under-Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher to look "carefully at this license to see if this particular satellite gives Azerbaijan the ability to do surveillance or jamming" and went on to ask, for the record, "will you reject this license if the satellite in question gives the Azeri government the capacity to jam Armenian communications or survey Armenia or Nagorno Karabakh." Under-Secretary Tauscher is expected to respond in writing to this question.

Last week, EXIM Bank responded in writing to questions posed by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), as to whether the Azerspace satellite could be potentially utilized for military purposes or retrofitted with military capabilities. In its response, EXIM Bank asserted that this unit "is not equipped with military grade technology and does not possess any imaging or intelligence gathering capabilities." They went on to note that retrofitting at a later date would be "more complex and could represent a higher cost than the initial delivery of the satellite."

However, EurasiaNet's Joshua Kucera reported last week that experts in this field believe that "the line between commercial and military satellite communications is often blurry, and militaries can use commercial communications satellites, albeit not as effectively as they would satellites designed specifically for military applications."

According to Brian Weeden, a former US Air Force officer working on space issues, now a technical adviser at the Secure World Foundation, a space policy advocacy group, "There is no precise definition of a military communications satellite from a capability standpoint."

According to Kucera, an Air Force officer who spoke to EurasiaNet on condition of anonymity explained that a country that has its own satellite, even a commercial one, could provide advantage to its military. "You're guaranteed access, you're guaranteed communications," the officer told Kucera.
http://www.reporter.am/go/article/20...satellite-deal
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