This constellation carrying AIS and radar and optical remote-sensing instruments will be the first space-based system in the world able of tracking ships continuously. The satellites will be operated jointly by France and India to monitor ships in the Indian Ocean.

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The system will cover a wide area around the world, benefiting several French economic interests. With a revisit capability making it possible to task acquisitions several times a day, it will also be able to detect oil slicks and trace where they come from.

CNES and ISRO have developed, built and are jointly operating numerous satellites that are serving significant applications for food security, water resource management and climate research. An infrared climate-monitoring satellite is in the study phase and India’s next oceanography satellite will be carrying a CNES Argos instrument into orbit in 2020.

After the official announcement, Jean-Yves Le Gall stated:

CNES’s and ISRO’s teams are both very proud to see, in the presence of President Macron and Prime Minister Modi, this new step forward in our cooperation in space. Our technologies today occupy an unprecedented place in the world economy and it is through large-scale international partnership projects like these that we will promote and develop our excellence