“Germany no longer relies on American intelligence”

Irina Alshaeva

The German Armed Forces announced a tender for the creation of vector maps of the territory of Russia. According to the German newspaper Die Welt, for this purpose it is planned to use high-resolution satellite images made in the infrared and radio wave spectrum. Gazeta.Ru examined why Germany is interested in the geography of Russia and how Russian military facilities are protected from observation from space.
Die Welt reported that maps should show more “than just streets, paths and houses.” From the tender documents referred to by the publication, it follows that the Bundeswehr needed geographic information about Russia in the form of “vector data of the highest resolution.”
The publication writes that the ARGE VEHA group of companies received the tender for the creation of the cards on a non-competitive basis. It includes the IABG Foundation in Dresden, GAF AG in Munich and Infoterra GmbH in Friedrichshafen. The Bundeswehr declined to comment on the information.
“It’s okay to prepare for war”
Doctor of Military Sciences Konstantin Sivkov suggested that Germany’s desire to create high-precision maps of the territory of Russia is due to the fact that “the Germans do not expect to receive from the United States the information they are interested in about Russian military facilities.”
“This suggests that there is a serious internal split in NATO . Germany does not count on American intelligence information and is forced to create its own space reconnaissance assets in order to solve tasks in the interests of its national defense, ”the expert said. According to him, such information is needed to clarify changes in the structure of military facilities, the appearance of new ones, and the disappearance of previous ones. In the case of monitoring moving objects, the task is to identify their location.
“The reconnaissance of the territories of countries from the air or from space is carried out constantly, the Americans do it regularly, the same is done by Russia,” Sivkov said.
Germany has launched five radar satellites into Earth orbit since 2006. They are part of the German SAR-Lupe reconnaissance satellite system and are controlled from a single ground station. SAR-Lupe can receive high-resolution images of any part of the Earth’s surface around the clock and regardless of weather conditions.
The system belongs to the Bundeswehr, its operation is carried out by the “satellite intelligence department” of the Strategic Intelligence Directorate of the Federal Republic of Germany. SAR-Lupe satellites can operate in strip scanning mode, flying over the Earth’s surface at a speed of about 7 km / s and in point observation mode. The maximum resolution is less than one meter.
“Satellite images of military facilities are taken to plan military operations, to strike with fire or electronic means. In peacetime, the military are preparing for war, this is a normal situation, otherwise they will not fulfill their direct duties, “said Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of the Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, a member of the expert council of the board of the military-industrial commission, to Gazeta.Ru .
“Poplar” in the fog
According to Sivkov, Russian military facilities “are in no way protected from satellite photography.” “In order to protect them, special means and camouflage forces are needed, as far as we know, they are not widely used. The exception is especially important objects like missile bases. They have camouflage means that allow them to hide from observation from space, ”said the expert.
As the deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, military expert Alexander Khramchikhin told Gazeta.Ru , in the fight against infrared thermal radiation, “electronic warfare systems are useless, there are no means of protection from it.”
“Critical objects can be protected from space shooting with smoke screens, but very rarely. The curtains cover the objects of the Strategic Missile Forces , mobile complexes Yars or Topol at the time of their deployment, “he said. The expert noted that “there are no standards governing photography of terrestrial objects from space.”
According to Murakhovsky, in order to protect objects from satellite photography, they must be made inaccessible in the optical infrared or ultraviolet range. “But in peacetime, means of countering intelligence and camouflaging military targets are not used,” he said.
“For example, in peacetime, only standby radar stations operate in air defense and missile defense systems. All the rest, in connection with the regulations, do not work, ”the expert explained. He noted that “in wartime, the Peresvet laser complex can be deployed to combat satellite reconnaissance.
The principle of operation of “Peresvet” is to illuminate optical reconnaissance systems, including reconnaissance satellites, with a laser beam. The complex can also be used to camouflage the launching positions of intercontinental ballistic missiles.