TEL AVIV (Aug. 22)
Israeli officials declined to comment on a report in Time magazine that Israel is preparing a missile to launch its own surveillance satellite in low earth orbit.
According to Time, the satellite is designed to spy on military preparations and movements in the neighboring Arab countries.
Time says the “Shavit” (comet) missile was built by Israel’s leading missile manufacturer, the Rafael weapons development authority, in collaboration with Israel Aircraft Industries.
If the report is true, Israel would become the world’s eighth country known to possess a rocket strong enough to put a satellite in orbit.
An Israeli spy satellite would make the country independent of the United States in obtaining satellite intelligence.