Berlin mum on Norwegian report about planned spy satellite


Berlin : Germany refused to comment on a Norwegian newspaper report about plans for an advanced spy satellite, the German press agency dpa reported Tuesday.

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Neither the German government nor its foreign secret service BND wanted to respond
to the report by the Norwegian daily Aftenposten which alleged that the US and
Germany want to jointly develop the 205 million euro spy satellite system dubbed ‘HIROS’ ( High Resolution Optical Satellite).

It reported that the cables, sent from the US embassy in Berlin, said the BND wanted the satellite spy to be operational by 2013.

The satellite system was aimed to be able to detect items on the ground as small as 50 centimeters in diameter and provide images three to five times a day, according to Aftenposten.

Meanwhile, the German Space Agency (DLR) dismissed the report, saying there are no such plans for an advanced spy satellite.

DLR said that while there is a satellite project, it is neither secret nor intended for spying purposes.

‘HIROS is no spy satellite and no secret project,’ DLR spokesman Andreas Schuetz told dpa.

‘For about two years a project for a high resolution optical satellite has been discussed,’ he added.

Schuetz claimed that HIROS is supposed to be used for scientific purposes and crisis management of natural catastrophes.

Plans for a German-US spy satellite system has reportedly aroused the anger of France.