Late Wednesday evening, Israel launched the spy satellite “Ofek 10” into space. The launch took place at the Palmachim Air Force Base located in central Israel and was carried out by the Ministry of Defense.
The “Ofek 10” is expected to conduct a battery of tests upon entering orbit. The tests are to verify that the satellite is capable of carrying out its expected tasks.
A radar-based satellite, the “Ofek 10” is expected to be used primarily for observation. The satellite has advanced photo capabilities including taking photos during the night, day, and all weather conditions.
Using remote sensors that employ synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology, the “Ofek 10” has some of the most advanced high-resolution imagery technology. Israeli defense officials explained that what makes the “Ofek 10” so advanced is its ability to “skip” from one target to another rather than “sweep” general areas.
The last time Israel launched a spy satellite into space was in June 2010 with the “Ofek 9.” The most recent launch now ups Israel’s total spy satellites in orbit to six. The “Ofek” series was first unveiled in 1988.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon congratulated the Israel Space Agency for the successful launch. “The launch is further testimony to Israel’s phenomenal capabilities in technology,” Ya’alon said.
“The Ofek 10 satellite will greatly enhance Israel’s intelligence capabilities and help us to better defense the country from threats near and far, at all times of day and night and in all types of weather,” the defense minister said.
Several Israeli companies participated in the development of the “Ofek 10,” including Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael, Elbit Systems, Rokar, Israeli Military Industries, and several branches of the IDF, Intelligence branch, and IAF.
“Israel is blessed with an exceptional security industry, that is creative and committed to the security of Israelis,” Ya’alon said. “Our ability to continuously reach new levels of accomplishment, as with this launch, is what allows us to live a productive and prosperous life. Blessed is the state, and it’s people.”