Israel launches advanced “Ofek 16” spy satellite into space

BREAKING: The Israeli spy satellite “Ofek 16” was successfully launched into space in a joint effort between the Israel Aerospace Industries and the Defense Ministry as apart of Israel’s military satellite program.

“The Space Administration in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) of the Israel Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), have successfully launched the ‘Ofek 16’ reconnaissance satellite into space, today at 4:00 AM,” the ministry tweeted on Monday morning.

“Ofek (horizon) 16” is an electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities. A Shavit launch vehicle lifted the satellite to orbit from the Palmachim airbase.

During the initial period of operation, the satellite will undergo a series of tests to determine its propriety and performance level. Shortly after the launch, it said the Ofek already was transmitting data and beginning to orbit around the Earth.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz called the launch an “extraordinary achievement.”

“Technological superiority and intelligence capabilities are essential to the security of the state of Israel,” he said.