The Israelis have increased their ability to spy on their neighbors after successfully launching a new version of their Ofek spy satellite today. The launch, which was planned months in advance, was overseen by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, whose presence is seen as an indication that he will remain in office despite being dismissed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend.
The Ofek-13 satellite was manufactured by the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. It is the latest in a series of locally produced satellites, the first of which exploded into orbit in 1988. The satellite was launched on a Shavit missile over the Mediterranean Sea as a precaution against sensitive technology falling into the hands of hostile Mediterranean neighbors. – East. there should be a malfunction.
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Gallant hailed the launch as “another important example of the cutting-edge innovation of the Israeli defense establishment.” He said the new satellite will improve round-the-clock regional monitoring as the country prepares for a possible conflict with Iran.
“Israel has already proven its various space capabilities many times and is one of the few countries that has such capabilities,” said the minister, “resources that we continue to develop and strengthen.”
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Israel is one of the few countries in the world that operates reconnaissance satellites, giving it a high intelligence-gathering capability. As of 2020, that list included Iran, which also successfully launched a spy satellite into orbit.
The launch in Israel comes a few weeks after Saudi Arabia and Iran renewed relations following Chinese intervention. Israel sees the potential for peace between the regional rivals as a major threat to its security. As part of the deal, China agreed to share its large spy satellites with Riyadh and Tehran.