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France, Peru Sign Bilateral Agreement for Airbus Spy Satellite

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Peru's defense ministry has awarded a contract to Airbus Defence and Space for construction and launch of Lima's first Earth observation satellite, according to the French defense ministry.

The bilateral agreement signed April 24 between Peru and France covers supply of the optical high-resolution spacecraft, a ground control segment for data reception and image processing, as well as a comprehensive training program.

Peru's investment in the project amounts to €150 million ($207 million). The satellite is expected to be launched in 2016.

France says the deal has been in the works since November 2013, when Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala during a visit to Lima.

“The willingness of France to develop the strategic partnership with Peru has been the subject of ongoing contacts between the two governments,” the French defense ministry said in an April 24 statement, citing a May 2013 visit to Peru by Kader Arif, head of France's ministry of veterans affairs.

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