Turkey launched its second military surveillance satellite -- the Gokturk 1 -- from the Kourou Launch Center in the French Guiana on Monday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with several other top Turkish officials witnessed the launch of the communication satellite during a ceremony at the Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) in Ankara.
The satellite put into orbit is a high-resolution optical earth observation satellite for civilian and military applications, which has a capability of scanning high-resolution images (up to 0.8 meters) and an onboard X-band digital imaging system to handle data compression, storage, and downloading, according to the Turkish Armed Forces.
Addressing the ceremony, Erdogan said developing and manufacturing more advanced satellites than Gokturk 1 was the next target for Turkey.
“With a scanning capability up to 0.5-meter (1.64-foot) resolution, we will benefit from the satellite in wide areas ranging from damage assessment after natural disasters to harvest forecasts,” the president said in televised comments.
“Today, Turkey’s external dependence in the defense industry is half the amount of what it used to be 14 years ago. Domestic participation rate in this satellite [industry] is 20 percent,” he added, highlighting that Turkey remains committed to ending its foreign dependency in the defense and space sectors.
Apart from its military applications, the satellite’s imaging capabilities could be used to monitor forest control, illegal construction, crop management, and casualty assessment after natural disasters.
Television broadcasts and satellite communication signals of the satellite would be able to cover the entire Africa continent.