Israel launched their new spy satellite into space on Monday; Ofek 16 has advanced capabilities and is the first Israeli satellite launch since 2017; This satellite will allow Israel to better monitor Iranian activity in the region.

There’s no shortage of activity that needs to be monitored throughout the Middle East. However, the growing Iranian entrenchment in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria has led to an increasing security need for Israel. The Jewish State launched its new spy satellite into orbit on Monday, making it their first since 2017. Israel’s Defense Ministry announced:

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

Ofek 16 is a spy satellite with advanced capabilities that are all designed in Israel. This satellite, now launched into orbit, will be operated by the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) 9900 intelligence unit.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz voiced his praise for the launch calling it “another extraordinary achievement for the defense establishment, for the defense industries as a whole, and for Israel Aerospace Industries in particular.” He would add that “technological superiority and intelligence capabilities are essential to the security of the State of Israel.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also praised the launch, adding, “We never stop our security efforts. The success of Ofek 16 enlarges our capabilities to fight Israel’s enemies, close and far, in the sea, on the ground, in the air and in Space.”

There’s no question that Iranian activity in the region remains the growing, imminent threat to Israel’s security. Head of IAI, Shlomi Sudari, stated, “Our network of satellites lets us watch the entire Middle East — and even a bit more than that.”

Gantz further stated the significance of this event when he added, “The fact that Israel is one of the 13 countries in the world with satellite launching capabilities is not a given and was made possible by the people who have been investing in these systems and advancing breakthrough capabilities over the years. We will continue to strengthen and maintain Israel’s capabilities on every front, in every place.”