Final preparations before declaration on full operational capabilities under way
The operational responsibility of Israel’s Ofek 16 satellite was transferred to the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Intelligence Directorate as the final stage before declaring its full operational capabilities, the Defense Ministry said in a statement Sunday.
Three months after successfully launching the satellite into space, the engineering teams of the Space Administration in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) of the Defense Ministry and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have completed the satellite’s pre-planned testing process.
The occasion was honored in a small ceremony held in an IAI control station attended by senior figures managing operations. The “keys” of the satellite were handed to the IDF’s 9900 Intelligence Unit, the Defense Ministry revealed.
Ofek 16 is an electro-optical observation satellite with advanced capabilities. It is equipped with a high-quality camera that has successfully transmitted a number of high-res images over the last couple of months.
Ofek 16 took off from a launchpad in central Israel at 4 am (Israel Summer Time) on July 6.
On August 25, Israel published the first images from the Ofek 16 satellite that showed three landmark sites in Syria: the Tadmor world heritage site, ancient ruins and the renowned Roman theater.