Israel Launches New Spy Satellite With Advanced Imaging Abilities

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‘Ofek-13’ Is First SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) Satellite With Advanced Imaging Abilities

Israel launched a new spy satellite on Wednesday, with advanced imaging capabilities allowing the country to gather around-the-clock regional intelligence and monitor Iran. According to the Israeli defense ministry, the Ofek-13 satellite is a sophisticated new radar-based spy satellite that will allow it to take high-quality images under all weather conditions and at night.

The satellite, which will be delivered to the IDF’s 9900 Intelligence Unit for operational use, was launched into orbit by a Shavit missile early on Wednesday from a site in central Israel, the ministry said. The ministry said it entered orbit, began transmitting data, and completed an initial series of inspections by original launch plans.

“We will continue to prove that even the sky isn’t the limit for the Israeli defense establishment and that we continue to enhance its capabilities in every dimension in the face of various challenges,” he said.

‘Ofek 13’ Will Enhance Israel’s Space Capabilities

According to the defense ministry, the Ofek-13 is the most advanced of Israel’s spy satellites. It is a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite with advanced imaging abilities, enabling Israel to collect more accurate and comprehensive intelligence than ever before, IAI CEO Boaz Levy told reporters on Wednesday.

Ofek-13 is also the latest in a series of locally produced spy satellites first put into space in 1988. In addition, the ministry said it is expected to boost around-the-clock regional monitoring as Israel prepares for a possible showdown with Iran over its nuclear program.

Iran Needs to Be Punished for its Nuclear Program

If Israel goes to war over Iran’s nuclear program, it will likely strike Iran with ballistic Jericho missiles loaded with conventional and nuclear warheads. It could also use its three Dolphin submarines to carry conventional and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, a 2009 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington warned.

Alternatively, Israel might hit Iranian energy assets, like oil production and shipping facilities, to drive up prices. That could also alienate dissidents.

It is unknown if Iran has the necessary material to make a nuclear weapon. Still, it is believed that the Islamic Republic has been pursuing uranium enrichment for years and could soon reach the level of the fuel for a bomb, according to U.S. and European experts.

“Israel is determined to prevent its main regional foe from acquiring the capability to become a nuclear-armed state,” Blinken told VOA on Tuesday. He added that Israel’s policy is to work with the United States, Russia, and other nations to pressure Iran.

The Iranian threat must be returned to the top of the global priority list, Blinken said. He also said that if Israel is forced to use force against Iran, it should do so proportionally and by international humanitarian law principles governing armed conflict.

The UN Security Council must shoulder its legal, moral, and humanitarian responsibilities to end Israel’s aggression against Gaza and to help Palestinians, especially Jerusalem inhabitants, maintain peace and stability in the region. He said the Council should also help ensure that the historic legal status of Al-Aqsa Mosque is preserved.

Farida Melville

Farida Melville is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering stories that matter. With over 10+ of experience in the industry, they have covered a wide range of topics including politics, business, entertainment, and more. Their writing has been featured in several prominent publications and they have won numerous awards for their work. At London Times Now, Farida Melville brings their expertise to bear on the latest news and trends coming out of London and beyond.

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