Pentagon OKs Spy Satellite Purchases
An AP newswire article by Pamela Hess, via MSNBC.com, reports that:
The Pentagon has approved plans to buy and launch two commercial-class imagery satellites to complement its classified constellation of spy satellites.More here.
The Pentagon will also increase the amount of imagery purchased from private companies operating similar satellites already in the sky.
The decision last week caps months of wrangling between the Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the National Intelligence Directors Office and the Office of the Secretary of Defense over which agency would buy the satellites for about $1.7 billion. The satellites are to be launched around 2012. The NRO will head satellite acquisition, according to Pentagon documents obtained by The Associated Press.
But critics of the program say the Pentagon is spending billions to re-create existing capabilities and compete with private companies such as GeoEye of Dulles, Va., and DigitalGlobe of Longmont, Colo., which are expected to put four new satellites into orbit by 2013.