TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania on Thursday reached a three-year agreement with an American company for a dedicated satellite constellation to provide the country with satellite imagery capabilities across its territory.
The Albanian government signed the $6 million (6.2 million euros) deal with Satellogic USA Inc. of North Carolina, the prime minister's office said.
The agreement will give Albania priority access to two satellites - to be named Albania-1 and Albania-2 - that are expected to be part of Satellogic’s upcoming launch with SpaceX. Satellogic is supposed to train specialists within the Albanian government to analyze and disseminate satellite-derived products to various government ministries.
“These satellites will provide unprecedented, country-wide situational awareness via the best data from space,” company CEO Emiliano Kargieman said.
Officials said the imagery would enable Albania to address issues in agriculture management, environmental monitoring and law enforcement activities such as observing illegal crops, illegal construction, traffic, border security and wildfires.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said the satellites would take the tiny country in the Western Balkans to a new level of law enforcement in fighting corruption and strengthening the rule of law, according to Rama.
The government also plans to buy armed drones soon to fight “terrorism or a potential enemy,” he said.