France Clears Helios 2 for Operational Use


Released on Friday, April 8, 2005
Belgium
France
Spain
Helios II
DGA - Délégation Générale pour l'Armement
The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) officially cleared the Helios IIA satellite for operational use on April 7, 2005. France, Belgium and Spain are the partner nations in the Helios II imagery satellite program. This decision was communicated to the armed forces command staff for the three nations.

Helios IIA was successfully put into orbit by an Ariane 5G rocket 18-Dec-2005. Since then, the French Space Research National Center (CNES) in behalf of the DGA conducted more than three months of testing validating onboard instruments and overall performance of the Helios IIA satellite. The satellite was built by EADS Astrium.

Helios IIA will be able to provide surveillance of small areas with pinpoint accuracy through high-resolution imagery; intelligence information in support of tactical strike missions and damage assessment; and terrain digital mapping capability over forbidden/inaccessible territories (Afghanistan or Iraq) in support of a wide range of military applications such as guidance of cruise missiles.

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