Palmachim Air Force Base
בסיס חיל האוויר פלמחים
|Operator||Israeli Air Force|
Israel Space Agency
|Location||Central District, Israel|
|Elevation AMSL||32 ft / 10 m|
The Palmachim Airbase (Hebrew: בָּסִיס חֵיל-הַאֲוִויר פַּלְמַחִים) is an Israeli military facility and spaceport located near the cities of Rishon LeZion and Yavne on the Mediterranean coast. It is named after nearby Kibbutz Palmachim.
Palmachim is also used to launch the Shavit space launch vehicle into retrograde orbit by launching over the Mediterranean, acting as Israel's primary spaceport. The launchpad is situated at This ensures that rocket debris falls into water, and that the rocket does not fire over regional neighboring countries near Israel that could use the technology. Palmachim is also used to test ballistic missiles, such as the Jericho.
Recent launches include:
- 11 June 2007 - Ofeq 7 satellite
- 17 January 2008 - version of the Jericho III missile
- 22 June 2010 - Ofeq 9 satellite
- 2 November 2011 - version of the Jericho III missile
- 9 April 2014 - Ofeq 10 satellite
- 13 September 2016 - Ofeq 11 satellite
- 29 May 2017 - rocket propulsion system test launch
- 6 July 2020 - Ofeq 16 reconnaissance satellite
In July 2007, it was agreed that once Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv was closed, its military terminal would be transferred to Palmachim. The terminal was transferred when Sde Dov Airport ceased operations in July 2019.
The current units at Palmachim include:
- 123 Squadron – operating UH-60 Black Hawk
- 124th Squadron – operating Sikorsky S-70, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
- 151st Squadron – Missile Testing Squadron
- 161th Squadron – operating Elbit Hermes 450 UAVs
- 166th Squadron – operating Elbit Hermes 900 UAVs
- 200th Squadron – operating IAI Heron UAVs
Orbital launch history
|Type of rocket||Date of Launch||Launch Location||Payload||Mission Status|
|Shavit||September 19, 1988||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 1||Success, experimental payload|
|Shavit||April 3, 1990||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 2||Success, experimental payload|
|Shavit||September 15, 1994||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq ?||Failure, unknown payload|
|Shavit-1||April 5, 1995||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 3||Success, first Israeli operational satellite in orbit|
|Shavit-1||January 22, 1998||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 4||Failure|
|Shavit-1||May 28, 2002||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 5||Success, second Israeli operational satellite in orbit|
|Shavit-1||September 6, 2004||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 6||Failure|
|Shavit-2||June 11, 2007||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 7||Success, third Israeli operational satellite in orbit|
|Shavit-2||June 22, 2010||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 9||Success|
|Shavit-2||April 9, 2014||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 10||Success|
|Shavit-2||September 13, 2016||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 11||Success|
|Shavit-2||July 6, 2020||Palmachim Airbase||Ofeq 16||Success|
On 17 January 2008 Israel test fired a multi-stage ballistic missile believed to be of the Jericho III type, reportedly capable of carrying "conventional or non conventional warheads." On 2 November 2011, Israel successfully test fired a missile believed to be an upgraded version of the Jericho III; the long trail of smoke was seen throughout central Israel.
- "U.S./Israel Complete Successful Arrow Missile Defense Test". GlobalSecurity.org.
- Israel Launches New Spy Satellite, www.spacewar.com, accessed 12 June 2007
- Azoulay, Yuval (18 January 2008). "Missile test 'will improve deterrence'". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- Israel Launches Ofeq-9 Satellite Archived 2010-06-23 at WebCite
- Pfeffer, Anshel (2 November 2011). "IDF test-fires ballistic missile in central Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
- "Israel launches Ofek 10 radar-based spy satellite". jpost. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- "Israel launches Ofek 11 surveillance satellite".
- Surkes, Sue (29 May 2017). "Israel launches propulsion rocket in early morning test". Times of Israel. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- "Tel Aviv airport to make way for luxury project". Retrieved 2007-07-03.
- "Shavit (Israel), Space launch vehicles - Orbital". Jane's Information Group. 2009-04-21. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- Greenberg, Hanan (22 June 2010). "Israel launches spy satellite". Ynet.com. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
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