Shkedi: Keep eyes open to possibility
Photo: Ido Erez
TecSar launch
Photo: Defense Ministry
Star Wars?
Photo: AFP

Air Force chief warns of possible attack on satellites

Ten days after launch of Israeli Tecsar satellite, Air Force commander speaks of possible threat to Israeli assets in space

If Israel didn't have enough threats to its security already, what with the ongoing confrontation with Hamas in the south, Hizbullah in the north and Syria close by, on Wednesday Israeli Air Force Chief, Major-General Eliezer Shkedi, spoke about possible threats to Israeli spy satellites in space at the Ilan Ramon International Space Conference in Herzliya.


Shkedi noted that there had not been any specific warnings, but suggested "not to keep our eyes closed to the possibility and treat it with full seriousness.


"Everybody who is familiar with this field and looks at it from an operational perspective, understands that there will be those that will try to carry out attacks on assets such as these," the Air Force chief said.


"I suggest that we understand this and think about methods of defense even in the case of a physical strike, obstructing or blinding (the satellites)."


In his speech, Shkedi elaborated on the advantages of using space-based satellites including intelligence, planning and execution and post-operation analysis. He added that one of the big questions for countries that posses these capabilities is how to deal with them if a problem arises in space.


The Air Force commander used the term "nightmare" to refer to the possibility of an attack on Israeli satellites. "It could be done by a state or a terrorist organization and I suggest that we don't close our eyes because we're talking about a real battlefield and this could potentially occur."


Shkedi also said in his speech that Israeli satellites are already being used for things such as weather forecasts. He added that Israel must increase its cooperation with private companies and other countries.


President Shimon Peres also spoke at the event. He thanked Rona Ramon, wife of Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut who was killed five years ago in the Columbia spaceship disaster, for attending.


פרסום ראשון: 01.30.08, 12:33
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