Launched last week, Ofek 16 helps Israel keep an eye on archenemy Iran, among other regional threats.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
One week after the successful launch of Israel’s Ofek 16 spy satellite into orbit, the Ministry of Defense said Tuesday it turned on its super-sensitive observation camera and the first pictures were downloaded.
“This is the most significant milestone since the launch … the images we received from the satellite are of excellent quality,” said Amnon Harari, Head of the Space and Satellite Administration.
“We will continue the orderly process of transferring the satellite to operational use, anticipating that over the years, the system will provide great intelligence to the defense establishment,” he said.
Israel is known as a world leader in advanced optics and the Ofek 16 is equipped with a super high-quality camera developed and manufactured in Israel by Elbit Systems. The in-orbit shakedown testing should be finished in a few weeks and then control of the satellite will be transferred to the IDF’s Intelligence Corps when it goes operational.
“The significant advantage of Ofek is a route that allows greater repetition over Iran… that allows a high-frequency of photography, several times a day, which commercial satellites almost do not allow,” tweeted Dan Harel, an Israeli expert in remote sensing.
Launched from inside Israel, Ofek 16 will give the IDF unprecedented access to data about Iran, whose political and military leaders have repeated for years their goal is the “total annihilation of Israel.”
Not only will the satellite will give Israel’s military intelligence agents high resolution photos of Iranian sites including those associated with its illegal military nuclear weapons program, but also detailed views of the activities of the terror groups supported by Iran around the region including in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.
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