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Advocacy groups seek to block launch of Turksat 5B satellite

advocacy-groups-seek-to-block-launch-of-turksat-5b-satellite

Two US-based organizations have reacted to the planned launch of Turkey’s Turksat 5B satellite, saying it will “materially jeopardize US national security and foreign policy interests.”

In a letter to Wayne R. Monteith, Associate Administrator, FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation, the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) warn that the Turksat 5B satellite, produced by state-owned Turksat, has well-documented military applications.

“Among these applications is the field of drone warfare and other forms of unmanned remote weaponry,” the groups said in the letter.

“Turkey recently deployed Bayraktar UAVs in Azerbaijan’s attack on the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh, and has threatened  their use against Greece and Cyprus,” they said.

HALC and ANCA say that the Turksat series dramatically expands the coverage area, Ku-band capacity and offensive reach of the Turkish military, locking in Ankara’s ability to independently conduct military operations against American and allied positions across nearly half the globe.

“Approval of this launch will materially jeopardize US national security and foreign policy interests,” they said, urging the Federal Aviation Administration to block the procedure.

Turkey launched its Turksat 5A satellite into orbit from the US in cooperation with SpaceX. 

Turksat 5B satellite is planned to be launched in the second quarter of 2021.