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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Abu Dhabi in $20M deal with Israeli satellite company

From YNet:
Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates' second largest member, stands to sign a multi-million dollar deal with Israel's ImageSat International, the American Defense News magazine reported recently.

ImageSat, which is co-owned by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and several private investors, owns and operates two EROS satellites, whose services will now be open to the Gulf state as well.

According to the report, Abu Dhabi and ImageSat signed their first imagery cooperation agreement back in 2006, enabling the country to subscribe to ImageSat's Eros-A satellite services. The new agreement will allow the UAE state access to images generated by Eros-B, which was launched into orbit in April of 2006.

Both satellites were manufactured by Israel – the frames by the IAI and the imagery cameras by Elbit Systems' subsidiary, Elop. The new contract is said to be worth $20 million a year.

According to the Defense News, ImageSat will allot Abu Dhabi a deciphering station and allow it to get images of pre-specified areas. The magazine further alleges that the contract will fortify Israel unofficial business ties with Abu Dhabi.
Perhaps they need to keep track of the UAE's suddenly worthless real estate.

UPDATE: Al Quds reports a new poll that 46% of the foreigners currently living in the UAE want to leave.

Let's hope that ImageSat gets paid in advance.