Palmachim: Israel launched a spy satellite early on Monday, according to an announcement by its defence ministry. The satellite, Ofek 7, was launched from the missile test range and space launch facility located near the Palmachim [Palmikim] Air Force Base on the coast of Israel, south of Tel Aviv.
An Israeli spokesperson said that the satellite could easily be used to help counter any possible Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.
According to Israeli media reports, the Ofek 7 will replace Ofek 5, which has been in orbit for almost five years. Ofek 5's life was extended when its successor, Ofek 6, failed to launch successfully two years ago.
According to Israeli Army Radio, the Ofek 7 was capable of detecting objects as small as 70 centimetres on the ground. The satellite weighs 30 kilogrammes, and is 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) long.
It has an operating life of at least four years.