SHAVIT Satellite Launcher

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Israel Aircraft Industries MLM Division Shavit satellite launcherSHAVIT is a three-stage satellite launcher, powered by three solid fuel rocket motors. The first two stages lift the launcher to an altitude of approximately 110 km. From this point, the launcher continues to gain height while coasting up to approximately 250 km, where the launcher positions itself and ejects the satellite shroud. After the separation of the main instrumentation compartment and while the launcher is spinning, the third stage motor is ignited. Thus, the satellite is inserted accurately into its transfer orbit at an altitude of approximately 260 km.

Utilizing an innovative concept for launch preparation, SHAVIT is relatively independent of the launch site and provides full testing of the launcher on the launch pad. This configuration enables satellite launch from different launch sites, according to customer requirements. Shavit is offered in two versions,

  • LK-A – For 350 kg-class satellites in 240 by 600 km elliptical polar orbits;
  • LK-1 – a future derivative of the current missile, to be utilized to lift 350 kg-class satellites in 700 km circular polar orbits.

Photos: Ofeq 5 launched into space on May 28, 2002 at the IAF Palmachim missile test center, on the Israeli Mediterranean coast. The Shavit LK-A satellite launcher is believed to be a derivative of teh IAI MLM/IMI Jericho 2 missile (Pictures: IAI)