Middle East Space Force Collaboration Potential with Israel and the United Arab Emirates

There is a possibility for the Israeli and Emirati armies to cooperate in space, said Shlomi Sudri, general manager of IAI’s Space Division. The Jerusalem Post after the International Astronautical Congress in Dubai.

“In general, we live in a relatively similar line of attitude in the world, and there are many things in the neighborhood that are of interest to both countries, so there is a possibility,” Sudri said of possible military cooperation in space.

“It may be possible to cooperate with the UAE military.”

Both Israel and the United Arab Emirates are wary of Iran’s growing hostility in the region and the Israeli military has been closely monitoring the Islamic Republic through its satellite army, the latest, the IAI’s Ofek 16, which was launched in July of last year.

IAI is the leading Israeli company dealing with cutting-edge satellite and space technology used for various purposes, including defense.

IAI Communication Satellites (Credit: IAI)

“We have a lot in common with the United Arab Emirates, both relatively small countries that are in an interesting neighborhood,” he said.

But electro-optical reconnaissance satellites with advanced capabilities are also an engineering feat that would be a gem of intelligence if obtained by enemy countries like Iran, and a disaster for Israel.

“Of course all of our satellites are protected as needed,” Sudri said, explaining that the company follows all government regulations regarding defense exports.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates are two of the 13 countries with satellite launch capabilities and, like the Israel Air Force, the satellite industry is a key component of the strategic military capabilities of the Jewish State. They are the true eye in the sky, keeping a close eye on Israel’s enemies 24/7 from afar.

The country’s satellite program has been active since 1988, and while the exact number of satellites in orbit remains classified, their number is reported to be in two digits.

And while most satellites have a lifespan of several years in operation before going out of service, IAI-built satellites like the Ofek 5 that launched in 2002 continue to operate, much longer than the design specifications indicated.

“Our heritage service and robustness prove that our satellites last longer than others,” Sudri said.

The annual international summit that was held from October 25 to 29 in Dubai saw the participation of approximately 6,000 people from the global space sector gathered to discuss the latest developments in the industry. IAI led Israel’s participation in the conference and presented several of its satellites.

“The Abraham Accords opened up interesting potential for partnership and cooperation. The focus and state of Israel and the United Arab Emirates in the economic / academic / space are opening new doors for both countries. The Dubai air show and conference was a great start to this. “

The company also showed off the “Beresheet 2,” the predecessor to the lunar lander that crashed on the Moon’s surface in 2019. Sudri said the company is seeking international cooperation for the second attempt that will see the orbiter carry two rocket modules. landing that will land on two sides of the moon with the orbiter in orbit taking pictures for educational purposes.

“This allows us to have international partners to design the landers and the United Arab Emirates is the leading candidate,” he said. “There is the possibility of a joint mission of Israel and the United Arab Emirates to the moon.”

The UAE’s National Space Program aims to reach Mars this year and build the first settlement on the Red Planet by 2117.

Referring to the UAE as Start-Up Emirates, a game from Israel’s Start-Up Nation, Sudri said the UAE “demonstrates a lot of innovation in high-tech and the space industry. They participate in interesting missions such as going to Mars, they not only focus on doing business in space but on seeking innovation in it ”.


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