ANKARA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Turkey launched a new intelligence satellite named Gokturk-1 via a Vega launch vehicle on Monday, reported the Turkish Daily Sabah.
The launch was from the European Space Center in French Guiana and took place at 4:52 p.m. local time (1352 GMT).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the live broadcast event, organized by the Air Force Command and the Under-secretariat for defense industries at the Turkish Aerospace Industries' (TAI) Akinci Air Base in Ankara.
With Gokturk-1's launch (Gokturk as "Turkey's eye in the sky" in Turkish), which was developed to provide target intelligence and imagery for military and civilian purposes, the country now has six active satellites in space.
Gokturk-1, with its ability to shoot high-resolution images, fast data-downloading capability, maneuvering caliber and developed location systems, will reinforce Turkey's influence in space, alongside its predecessor Gokturk-2.
The Reconnaissance Satellite Battalion, under the Turkish Air Force's supervision, will command and control the satellite and record data in an inventory following orbit tests and admission phases.
Gokturk-3, a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) reconnaissance and surveillance satellite system, is being developed using Turkish resources.
Gokturk-3 will also provide high-resolution images from any location in the world, day or night, to fulfill the Turkish military's intelligence requirements.
With the first phase of project Gokturk-1 complete, the satellite is scheduled to be launched by the end of 2019.