The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has launched a new surveillance satellite, known as Ofek 9, to monitor the military activities of neighbouring countries such as Iran and Syria.

Ofek 9 was launched from the Palmachim Air Force Base in Tel Aviv on 22 June 2010 using a Shavit launcher, and has successfully completed its first circuit.

Developed by Elbit, the Ofek 9 is equipped with advanced cameras that can produce high-resolution images of missiles and launchers on the ground.

The new satellite weighs nearly 650lb (300kg), and will undergo a series of tests intended to verify its functionality and operational level.