Photo Credit: Israel Ministry of Defense Spokesperson's Office
The Ofek 13 satellite was launched into space using a Shavit rocket Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

The Israel Ministry of Defense, Israel Defense Forces and Israel Aerospace Industries announced Monday that they have received the first images collected by the “Ofek 13” satellite launched into space about two weeks ago.

The DDR&D’s Space Administration engineering teams, Israel Aerospace Industries, and the IDF’s 9900 unit activated the “Ofek 13” satellite’s synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) for the first time Sunday night.


“The first satellite images received at the IAI control station were of excellent quality,” Israel’s Defense Ministry commented.

Since the satellite launch on March 29th, the IAI and Defense Ministry teams conducted a planned series of tests during which they gradually activated all of the systems and subsystems that comprise the satellite including the SAR payload. The tests were successfully activated, the ministry said.

“The engineering teams will continue the rigorous testing process to prepare the satellite for operational use in accordance with the pre-planned protocol,” the statement added.

The “Ofek 13” satellite is a SAR observation satellite with advanced capabilities.

In the coming weeks, following the completion of the In Orbit Tests led by IAI, the DDR&D and the IDF, the Defense Ministry is expected to transfer the satellite to the IDF’s 9900 Intelligence Unit for operational use.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.