The Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) released images taken by the new Ofek 16 electro-optical reconnaissance satellite over Syria.
The satellite images were taken recently and show the ‘Tadmor’ world heritage site, ancient ruins and the renowned Roman theater.
Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: “The State of Israel knows how to defend against its enemies both near and far, as well as to protect its citizens everywhere, from any given location. The technological means we develop in the Ministry of Defense together with our industries, are effective and significant tools in maintaining Israel’s security. We will continue to work and promote Israel’s technological advance and edge, an element that is essential in contending with the many challenges we face.”
The engineering teams of the IMOD’s Directorate of the Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and IAI are continuing their work in preparing the Ofek 16 satellite for operational use.
In the near future, and upon the completion of the ‘in orbit testing’ process led by the DDR&D, IAI, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)’s Intelligence Directorate, the Ministry of Defense will transfer the satellite to IDF Unit 9900 for operational use. Unit 9900 is an IDF Intelligence Corps unit responsible for collecting imagery intelligence (IMINT) from aerial and satellite imagery.
Ofek 16 is an electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities. The satellite was successfully launched into space abroad a Shavit launcher from a launch site based in central Israel at 4:00 am on July 6.
Ofek 16’s development was enabled by the great experience gained by the defense establishment in the production of earlier satellites in the Ofek series, which have been produced and launched since the year 1988.