Yesterday, the “Ofek 11” reconnaissance satellite was successfully launched into space. The advanced satellite has entered stable orbit of the Earth and its systems are currently being tested. “The satellites are a power multiplier and produce a great amount of product for the IAF”
Yesterday evening, about two and a half years after the launch of the Israeli “Ofek 10” (Hebrew for Horizon) another Israeli reconnaissance satellite was launched – “Ofek 11”. The satellite was developed based on the experience the Israeli Military industries had gained in the development of the preceding “Ofek” satellites, which have been launched into space since 1988.
The launch of the satellite was performed by means of a “Shavit” satellite launcher from a test field in central Israel. “Ofek 11” has entered orbit of the Earth, has been contacted and is currently undergoing system tests. The Space Administration engineers from “Maf’at” (Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, with IAI (Israeli Aerospace Industries) engineers, continue the series preplanned tests.
The “Ofek 11” reconnaissance satellite has been successfully launched into space | Archive Photo
“Satellites allow us to deal with every theatre and threat”
In Israel in general and in the IAF in particular, there is an understanding that the Israeli Space Program is of strategic significance and it enjoys a position of a world leader in the field. The successful launch of the “Ofek 11” satellite by the “Maf’at” Space Administration and IAI is further proof of Israel’s ability to develop and lead the forefront of technology.
“Satellites are a tool that allow us to look beyond the horizon, to see and investigate all of our areas of interest and best deal with the theatres and threats”, explained Maj. Guy, Head of the Advanced SIGINT and Space Department in the IAF. “The satellites allow communication at all times and anywhere. The satellites are a power multiplier and produce a great amount of product for the IAF”.
The Israeli satellites add another layer to the deciphering of the aerial image performed by intelligence units in the IAF and IDF and they are of a great significance in the strategic and tactical aspects of Israel’s strength and security. “The Israeli satellites have a long lifetime and we enjoy their products for a long time, but we are working on the improvement of resolution and availability and want to advance into various worlds of knowledge”, shared Maj. Guy. “The main challenge is the launch. We must take the launch area into consideration and make sure that there is no falling debris, so everything has to be very carefully calculated”.
Watching the launch from the IAF Missile Test Unit’s Command Room | Archive Photo