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The Geospatial Intelligence and Satellite Services Agency is commencing operations

The Geospatial Intelligence and Satellite Services Agency (Agencja Rozpoznania Geoprzestrzennego i Usług Satelitarnych, ARGUS) will be established in Białobrzegi, in the Masovian Voivodeship.

On Thursday, June 27, 2024, during a ceremony in Białobrzegi, the Geospatial Intelligence Command along with its directly subordinate units was transferred under the authority of the Secretary of State in the Polish Ministry of National Defense. This is related to the commencement of operations tomorrow by the Geospatial Intelligence and Satellite Services Agency (ARGUS).

Photo: Ministry Of National Defense

The newly established Agency will be responsible for managing and directing satellite systems introduced into the Armed Forces’ equipment, defending and protecting these systems, and carrying out tasks related to situational awareness in space.

The creation of the Geospatial Intelligence and Satellite Services Agency marks the beginning of a new phase in the use of space by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland. The importance of space is increasing year by year with the transformation of the armed forces. This space is also becoming increasingly important for the effective functioning of the entire state and society,” said Deputy Minister Cezary Tomczyk during the inauguration of the Geospatial Intelligence and Satellite Services Agency.

On May 22 of this year, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz spoke in the Sejm about plans to establish ARGUS. He announced that within this Agency, a Satellite Operations Center will be created and will reach operational readiness this year. He added that in May of this year, a Satellite Component was established in the Polish Armed Forces, and the purchase of national satellite solutions under the MikroGlob program in 2026 and radar systems under the MikroSAR program in 2025 is planned.

Earlier, on May 20 of this year, Prime Minister Donald Tusk met in Warsaw with Nadia Calviño, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB, European Investment Bank, Banque Européenne d’Investissement). Following the meeting, a loan of 300 million EUR (1.276 billion PLN, 322 million USD) was announced for the Polish satellite component of the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI), a European program for collective air and missile defense.

This pertains to the agreement signed on December 27, 2022, between Airbus Defence and Space and the Armament Agency of the Ministry of National Defense, valued at approximately 575 million EUR (2.67 billion PLN net/3.28 billion PLN gross, ca. 620 million USD) for the delivery of two observation satellites along with a receiving station in Poland under the Glob program. Meanwhile, the MikroGlob program is to be funded by the National Recovery Plan (KPO).

Currently, in Białobrzegi, the Colonel Julian Sielewicz Imagery Intelligence Center is operational. This center, by virtue of Decision No. 22/MON of the Minister of National Defense dated March 9, 2018, upholds the traditions of the 2nd Balloon Battalion.

It houses the Polish Defense User Ground Segment (P-DUGS) of the first-generation Italian radar satellite observation system COSMO-SkyMed (COnstellation of small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation). This system was established based on a cooperation agreement from 2010, which was expanded in 2014. It is being developed as part of the Optical Satellite – 3000 System (OPTSAT 3000) Earth Observation Program.

Based on a press release

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