Last week, the Israel Air Force announced the creation of a space administration and, while very little information about the new military body is available due to military censors, the focus of the new force seems to be on Iran.
Israel’s Space Force follows the United States’ creation of a Space Force by almost four years. The U.S. Space Force was launched in 2019, also without specifying what the Space Force was intended to accomplish.
Israel has been active in space for several decades, launching its first satellite in 1988. However, despite adding the name “space” to its title about two decades ago, the Israel Air Force has not engaged in space development in any meaningful way.
More recently, in 2015, Israel demonstrated the successful interception of a target in space with the Arrow 3 missile. This missile has the ability to function as an anti-satellite weapon.
Until very recently, most of Israel’s enemies did not possess sufficient technology to pose a threat to Israel in space. However, Iran’s space program has advanced considerably in the last few years, with Tehran successfully launching satellites using ballistic missiles. These missiles could easily be focused on Israel and would require an advanced space-capable intercept device like the Arrow 3.
The growing partnership between Iran and Russia, both before and after the Ukraine invasion, means that Iran now has access to more sophisticated space technologies. Those threats will require more focused attention and investment in the space sector.
Israel’s new space administration is the first step in developing the systems to counter that threat.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.