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Arie Egozi

Israel launched an advanced satellite today to improve the country’s capability to gain advanced warning of Iran’s preparations to launch ballistic missiles. The OFEK 16 high resolution spy satellite was launched from an Air Force base in central Israel using a SHAVIT launcher, to allow Israel to continue monitoring “Areas of interest” such as Iran.

An electro-optical high resolution spy satellite built by Israel aerospace industries (IAI), who also constructed the launcher, the initial period of operation will see it undergo a series of tests to determine its propriety and performance level. The satellite’s payload was developed by Elbit Systems with the launch engines developed by Rafael Advanced Systems and Tomer, a government-owned defence company.

The first Israeli satellite (OFEK 1) was launched in 1988 and in the years following this success, the Ministry of Defence allocated significant budgets to the field of satellite development. The programme significantly enhances the intelligence capabilities of Israel due to the groundbreaking technology and capabilities developed by IAI and partner industries. This is a multi-year investment which requires a multitude of resources, consistency, and professionalism. The goal is to ensure that the Israeli satellite programme will remain at the forefront of technological capabilities and will continue to produce advanced satellites, which will maintain Israel’s intelligence and technological superiority.