The advanced satellite was successfully launched from the Air Force experimentation field. Minister of Defense: "This is a technological and operational achievement."
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)
The Israeli Ofek-9 satellite was successfully sent into space on Tuesday evening (June 22) at 10:00 PM, by using the Shavit launcher. The launch was carried out in the Israeli Air Force experimentation field. Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the satellite launch, saying, "This is a technological and operational achievement which only few other countries are capable of contending with."
With the satellite’s positioning on a route around planet earth, it will undergo a series of tests intended to verify its functionality and its operational level. This satellite is a photography satellite with advanced technological abilities, which was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), in cooperation with additional high-tech industries, by order of the Ministry of Defense.
Ehud Barak praised the security industries and Ministry of Defense personnel, and said that "the satellite launch today constitutes a technological and operational achievement. Few countries, especially countries of Israel’s size, are capable of mastering a challenge as complex as this. The success of the launch is a testament to the courage, thinking, and high abilities of the security industries personnel and Israeli Security System personnel."
The CEO of the Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Shani, said that the success of the launch constitutes an example of the technological capabilities of the State of Israel and its security industries. "The Ofek project opened up new horizons for the security industries of the State of Israel. The positioning of the satellite together with satellites that are already roving in space, will supply the security system with intelligence capabilities which will greatly contribute to the security of the country."
The CEO of IAI, Yitzchak Nissan, said that "Today’s successful satellite launch is an integration of aptitude, motivation, and courage. This is a most significant technological and operational achievement." Nissan emphasized that "We must be patient for a few more days until the satellite sends images to the control center. Then we will know if the entire mission can be considered a complete success."
Air Force Chief of Staff: Ofek-9 at the cutting edge of satellite capabilities
The Air Force Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Nimrod Shefer, said that "the Israeli satellites endow us with extraordinary operational capabilities of seeing areas of interest to the State of Israel and its Air Force." While speaking about how Israel is currently operating six satellites in space, Brig. Gen. Shefer said that "this bears witness to the unique scope of intelligence demands that the State of Israel has. It also bears witness to the exceptional technological capabilities which enable Israel to develop a system such as this."
The Air Force Chief of Staff explained that the Ofek-9, and only three-year old satellite, "brings with it new capabilities, also in the quality of the image and the quality of the geographical intelligence which it provides us. This satellite is definitely at the cutting edge of satellite capabilities in the world – certainly with aspects between the quality it gives and its size and cost. I can say with great confidence that this is better than many other satellites spinning around space."
On June 22nd, the Ofek-9 ("Horizon-9") satellite, which was developed and produced by the Israeli Aerospace Industries, was launched from IAF Palmachim air base and successfully launched into orbit. Weighing approximately 300 kg., this new satellite will orbit earth from up to 600 km. in space, providing higher resolution images and enabling the gathering of intelligence from a greater distance.
Ofek-9 is the 13th Israeli satellite launched into the orbit over the past 20 years, the last such being Amos 3, launched in 2008. Ofek-9 is the product of two years of enhancements and improvements on existing Israeli satellites, providing expanded capabilities in the quality of its photography and the geographical capacities it offers. The launch of Ofek-9 emphasizes Israel’s ongoing expansion of intelligence-gathering capabilities in the region.
Dimensions: Height 2.3 m., diameter: stowed panels 1.2 m,
deployed panels 3.6 m tip to tip
Weight: Approx. 300 kg.
Solar arrays power: Approx. 300-500 Watts continuous
Control: 3 axes stabilized, high pointing accuracy