Israel Launches New Reconnaissance Satellite into Space

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Jul 07, 2020
Israel Launches New Reconnaissance Satellite into Space

Israel’s Defense Ministry has successfully launched a new reconnaissance satellite into space.

"This is another extraordinary achievement for the defense establishment, for the defense industries as a whole, and for Israel Aerospace Industries in particular,” said Israeli Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz.

Added Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “We never stop our security efforts. The success of Ofek 16 enlarging our capabilities to fight Israel’s enemies, close and far, in the sea, on the ground, in the air and in Space.”

According to CBN News, satellite Ofek-16 is working and will undergo a series of tests before becoming fully operational. The launch team included the Space Administration in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), of the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

“The fact that Israel is one of the 13 countries in the world with satellite launching capabilities is not a given, and was made possible by the people who have been investing in these systems and advancing breakthrough capabilities over the years. We will continue to strengthen and maintain Israel's capabilities on every front, in every place,” Gantz said.

The satellite will add to Israel’s other military satellites orbiting in space and will be managed by the Israel Defense Forces.

“Our network of satellites lets us watch the entire Middle East — and even a bit more than that,” said Shlomi Sudari, the head of Israel Aerospace Industries’ space program in a briefing.

The last time Israel launched a reconnaissance satellite into space was in 2016.

“We hope that one day we will be able to monitor the region or any other place we’re interested in 24 hours a day and we will have videos,” the head of the Defense Ministry’s Space Department said. “Now Ofek 16 brings us closer to our goal.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/John Theodor

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.