'People’s satellite’ already proving its value to Ukrainian military intelligence
Intelligence showed the results of the work of the "people's satellite" (Photo:gur.gov.ua)
Ukrainian intelligence’s ICEYE satellite, known as the “people’s satellite” because it was bought via a crowdfunding campaign, has already helped identify and destroy thousands of pieces of enemy equipment, Ukrainian military intelligence reported on March 9.
The military’s Main Intelligence Directorate, known by its Ukrainian acronym HUR, said the “people’s satellite” has been operational for nearly six months, since Sept. 24, 2022.
“Since then, the country’s security and defense forces have been receiving the necessary intelligence from space every day,” the report says.
Intelligence officers have conducted space radar reconnaissance of almost one thousand locations of Russian units in temporarily occupied territories and other areas of interest to Ukraine’s Armed Forces over the last five months, the HUR said.
The satellite has already detected 360 enemy tents, as well as 7,321 pieces of military equipment, including:
- 45 aircraft;
- 27 helicopters;
- 6 Iskander operational and tactical missile systems;
- 36 S-300 air defense systems;
- 12 Pantsir-S1 air defense systems;
- 11 radar stations; and
- 10 pontoon crossings.
“Ukraine’s military intelligence officers once again express their gratitude to all in Ukrainian society who took part in the fundraising for the spacecraft, to every volunteer who provides daily assistance to the defenders of Ukraine, and to the Serhiy Prytula Foundation,” said HUR, mentioning the charity that organized the crowdfunding drive.
The foundation purchased the satellite with funds raised by the “People’s Bayraktar” campaign. After Ukrainians raised UAH 600 million ($16.4 million) for drones in three days, the Baykar manufacturing company announced that it would hand over three Bayraktar UAVs to the Ukrainian army for free.
The ICEYE company provided Ukraine’s Defense Ministry with full access to one of its satellites, which is in orbit in this area. Ukraine also received access to its SAR satellite constellation.
Volunteer Serhiy Prytula clarified that the Ukrainian side would own the satellite for as long as it is in orbit. Able to peer through clouds and darkness, the SAR satellite can transmit data around the clock, regardless of weather conditions or time of day.
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