In an effort to beef up intelligence gathering in the face
of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear
will send a new spy satellite into space in the coming months, The Jerusalem
Post has learned.
Called Ofek 8, the satellite will be launched from and is currently in its
final production stages at Israel Aerospace Industries. It will be placed in low
orbit by the IAI-made Shavit launcher that was used for the Ofek 7 satellite in
“This will significantly boost our intelligence-gathering capabilities,” a
defense official said.
The Ofek 8 weighs about 300 kg. and can complete an orbit every 90 minutes.
While the new satellite will not represent a significant technological breakthrough
– it will carry the same camera as the Ofek 7 – it will provide the IDF with
greater flexibility in utilizing its space assets.
The last satellite, the TecSar, was launched by
Israel from India
in 2008. Also developed by IAI, the TecSar can create high-resolution images
using advanced radar technology called Synthetic Aperture Radar, enabling it to
produce images in all weather conditions and even at night.
Israel also operates the Ofek 5 and receives services from the EROS B.
After the Ofek 8, the next spy satellite launched into space will be called the
Opsat 3000, scheduled to be sent into space later this decade and to be capable
of unprecedented optical remote sensing at extremely high resolution.