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Ukraine’s Defence Minister explains how "people's satellite" helps on battlefield

Thursday, 29 September 2022, 11:03
Ukraine’s Defence Minister explains how people's satellite helps on battlefield


Satellites of the ICEYE company, one of which was purchased by the Serhii Prytula Foundation for the army with donations from Ukrainians, have helped to identify more than 60 units of military equipment within the first two days of their operation.

Source: Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defence of Ukraine, on Facebook


Details: Reznikov held a "working meeting" with volunteer Serhii Prytula and representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence.

They discussed practical results of the unprecedented project that was implemented in the summer, as well as ideas for new projects.

Quote: "As probably everyone remembers, thanks to the donations coming from Ukrainians, the defence forces of Ukraine obtained access to information from the group of satellites of the ICEYE company. One satellite works fully for the needs of our defence, almost two dozen more are involved when the need arises.

When in June the Ministry of Defence proposed to direct the funds collected for the purchase of Bayraktars [Turkey-made strike drones] to the strengthening of the space reconnaissance resources, we expected a qualitative increase in the capabilities of our troops. So far, all our expectations have been completely fulfilled."

Details: Reznikov noted that the defence forces of Ukraine, primarily brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, have been receiving a stream of data from ICEYE satellites for some time.

The images are directly deciphered and processed by military intelligence specialists of the Ministry of Defenсe who have undergone appropriate training.

Quote: "For obvious reasons, I can’t reveal all the details, but just imagine: in the first two days of the satellite's operation, more than 60 units of combat equipment were detected, which the enemy tried to disguise in forest strips and behind other obstacles. It was detected because the ICEYE satellites collect information using Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology.

This equipment would be very difficult or impossible to detect by means of optical satellites. Instead, the coordinates of "hidden [targets]" were quickly transmitted for further infliction of fire damage – in particular, in the area of Khreshchenivka and Ukrainka in Kherson Oblast, as well as near Novoselivka in Donetsk Oblast.

In fact, in just these two days, the enemy has lost more armoured vehicles than the entire satellite project is worth. But the main thing is that it helps save the lives of our soldiers, which are priceless."

Details: Reznikov listed the advantages of ICEYE satellites:

  1. Ukraine got the opportunity to combine optical satellite data from partners and SAR data. This fundamentally increases our ability to detect and inflict damage on the Russian occupiers. Satellites with SAR technology are especially relevant in autumn and winter, when the weather is bad, cloudy or snowy. They are equally effective in day and night. 
  2. The Ukrainian military determines where and when to receive the necessary data. Currently, systematic monitoring of the main areas of hostilities in Southern and Eastern Ukraine is carried out.
  3. Information flows from analysts to combat units very quickly. It will be more difficult for the Russian occupiers to hide their intentions, which will further complicate their logistics.

Reznikov thanked everyone who contributed to the funding of this initiative, the team of the Serhii Prytula Foundation for its realisation, and entrepreneur Maksym Poliakov for his very important support.

During the meeting, other needs of the Ukrainian army were also discussed in order to coordinate actions for the coming months.

According to Reznikov, "there are several interesting ideas that have the potential to become popular projects."

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