A high-tech satellite launched by China on 10 August will help the country protect its maritime interests, especially amid rising tensions in the South China Sea.

Experts have said that the Gaofen 3 high-resolution Earth observation satellite will also improve the nation's ability to forecast natural calamities.

The new satellite has been developed by the China Academy of Space Technology in Beijing. It has a service life of eight years and is reportedly capable of generating radar images, irrespective of the weather conditions.

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At least 15 pirates fire shots upon a cable laying vessel in the Red Sea

A cable laying vessel reported that 16 heavily armed pirates on board two skiffs opened fire on their vessel west of Jazirat al Hanish al Kabir island in the Red Sea. The assailants were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK47 assault rifles when they targeted the cable ship, which was travelling at 0.5 knots. The embarked armed security team fired warning shots at the gunmen before the skiffs moved away. The merchant vessel reported that it was safe.

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Iranian Navy Commander Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said that the 41st flotilla of the Iranian Navy was sent sent for an anti-pirate patrol mission to the Gulf of Aden.

The purpose of this heavy reinforcement is to protect Iranian commercial vessels. Sources say Iran's naval warships in the Gulf of Aden are aimed at establishing security for cargo ships and also at sending a message of peace and friendship to the regional countries.

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