Israel’s newest spy satellite called Ofek 16 is now operational, three months after it was launched into orbit from central Israel, the Defense Ministry announced.
In a tweet earlier this week, the Defense Ministry said: “Three months since the successful launch of the Ofek 16 satellite into space, the MOD & IAI have completed all the tests necessary for operational activity.”
Control of the electro-optical Ofek-16 satellite was handed over from the ministry to the Israel Defense Forces’ visual intelligence Unit 9900, which will operate it going forward. A small ceremony was conducted for the handover as well.
The satellite was launched into space using a Shavit launch vehicle that took off from a launchpad in the Palmachim air base in central Israel.
According to Israeli officials, the Ofek-16 is slightly more capable than its previous version, the Ofek-11, which was launched into orbit in 2018.