Berlin has launched a new satellite program for its intelligence service (BND) in an attempt to escape US influence in spying matters, Die Zeit daily reports. The project has already proven to be costlier than planned.
Germany plans to spend €400 million ($465 million) on two of the “latest-generation satellites” for its foreign intelligence service. The budget committee of the German parliament (Bundestag) already approved the financing of the costly project back in early November 2017.
The two reconnaissance satellites, which are now being constructed by the Bremen-based aerospace company OHB, are expected to be able to identify and capture images of objects as small as an A4 paper sheet. They are scheduled to be launched into orbit in 2022, where they will be able to keep an eye on “any place on Earth” within 24 hours, according to a “top secret” intelligence document obtained by Die Zeit.
The ambitious project is apparently aimed at making Berlin less dependent on Washington, as the German security services are said to rely heavily on satellite data provided by their US partners.