Israel Defence Ministry has announced the successful launch of a new “Ofek 16” spy satellite into orbit by using a locally-developed Shavit rocket from a launch pad at Palmachim airbase in central Israel. This was the first launch of an Israeli spy satellite into space since the Ofek-11 which entered orbit in September 2016.
About “Ofek 16” spy satellite:
- Ofek 16 is an electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities including breakthrough ‘blue and white’ technology and its payload was developed by defence firm Elbit Systems.
- The satellite was tested by engineers from the Ministry of Defense and State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries [ISRAI.UL] before starting full operations.
- IDF’s (Israel Defense Force) 9900 Intelligence Unit will be responsible for the Ofek 16 satellite once it gets operational.
- ‘OFEC 16’ started sending data and started orbiting around the Earth. It will also monitor Iran and developments in its nuclear and missile programs.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Capital of Israel: Jerusalem.
- The currency of Israel: Israeli Shekel.
- President of Israel: Reuven Rivlin.
- Prime Minister of Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu.