Israel launches Ofek 16 spy satellite

Benny Gantz / Photo: Yossi Zamir

IAI led the program. Defense Minister Benny Gantz: Technological superiority is essential to Israel's security.

The Space Administration in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), of the Israel Ministry of Defense and ( Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1)) successfully launched the Ofek 16 reconnaissance satellite into space at 4:00 am today. The launch was performed from a launch site based in central Israel, using a Shavit launcher.

The satellite began to orbit around earth and to transmit data according to plan. Ministry of Defense and IAI engineers have started a series of pre-planned tests of the satellite before it begins its full operations.

Minister of Defense Benny Gantz said, "The successful launch of the Ofek 16 satellite overnight is yet another extraordinary achievement for the defense establishment, for the defense industries as a whole, and for Israel Aerospace Industries in particular. Technological superiority and intelligence capabilities are essential to the security of the State of Israel. The fact that Israel is one of the 13 countries in the world with satellite launching capabilities is not a given, and was made possible by the people who have been investing in these systems and advancing breakthrough capabilities over the years. We will continue to strengthen and maintain Israel's capabilities on every front, in every place."

Ofek 16 is an electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities, the latest in the Ofek series, which have been produced and launched since 1988.

IAI is the main contractor for Ofek 16. Its Systems, Missiles and Space Group led the program, together with the MLM Division, which is responsible for the development of the launcher. Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) developed and produced the satellite's advanced camera and payload. The launch engines were developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Tomer, a government-owned weapons technologycompany. Among other companies participating in the program are BAE Systems Rokar and Cielo Inertial Systems.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 6, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Benny Gantz / Photo: Yossi Zamir
Benny Gantz / Photo: Yossi Zamir
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