Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD) has published images by Ofek 16 spy satellite taken over Syria.
“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,” remarked Defense Minister, Benny Gantz.
The Ofek, built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was launched on July 6. On July 14, high-quality images taken by the satellite were received over night, at an IAI control station in the city of Yehud (central Israel). The new images published on August 25 taken over Syria show the ‘Tadmor’ world heritage site, ancient ruins and the renowned Roman theater.
In the near future, and upon the completion of the 'in orbit testing' process led by the DDR&D, IAI, and the IDF's Intelligence Directorate, the Ministry of Defense will transfer the satellite to IDF Unit 9900 for operational use.
The Ofek 16 satellite is an electro-optical observation satellite with advanced capabilities. It is equipped with a high-quality camera developed and manufactured by Elbit Systems. In the coming weeks, following the completion of the ‘in orbit testing’ process conducted by the DDR&D, IAI and the IDF, the Ministry of Defense will transfer responsibilities to Unit 9900 of the IDF’s Intelligence Cops, after which the satellite will be declared operational.
The Space Administration in the Israel Ministry of Defense has led the development and production of the satellite and its launcher. IAI is the prime contractor, having assigned the program to its Systems, Missiles and Space Group, together with the MLM division, which is responsible for the development of the launcher. The satellite’s payload was developed by Elbit Systems. The launch engines were developed by Rafael Advanced Systems and Tomer, a government-owned defense company. Additional companies have participated in this program, including Rokar and Cielo. Various IDF officials, primarily from the Intelligence Corps and Air Force were also involved in the satellite development process.