The Ministry of Defense and the Aerospace Industry successfully launched the Ofek 13 spy satellite into space tonight (Tuesday-Wednesday). The launch was carried out using a satellite launcher of the “Shavit” type, from an experimental field in the center of the country.
The Ofek 13 satellite is a radar observation satellite with advanced capabilities. Upon entering orbit around the Earth, the satellite will undergo a series of tests designed to verify its integrity and level of performance.
The development and production of the satellite and the launcher is led by the Ministry of Defense, through the Space Directorate at the Israel Defense Forces. Various parties from the IDF are involved in the development, including Unit 9900 in the Intelligence Division and the Air Force. The Aerospace Industry is the main contractor of the project – the Space and Missile Systems Division, led by the ‘Space’ plant, leads the project in cooperation with the ‘Alta’ division and other plants in the company. The companies ‘Tomer’ and ‘Raphael’ produced the launch rocket engines.
Avi Berger, head of the Space Directorate at the Ministry of Defense, Avi Berger: “Ofek 13 is a radar-based observation satellite with the most advanced capabilities of its kind in the world, all of which are the result of Israeli development. The launch was successful, according to the plan. The first indications from the satellite are also excellent. In weeks In the near future we will complete the technical tests and receive the first images, in preparation for the transfer of the satellite for operational use in the IDF. ‘Ofek 13’ will join the series of Ofek satellites, winner of the Israel Defense Prize, which the Ministry of Defense and the IDF have been operating in space for many years. The radar satellite will, among other things, allow day and night photography capabilities and will significantly improve the intelligence of the State of Israel from space, for years forward”.