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4. Israel and the Space Colonization
Hedi Enghelberg - USA , 02/01/2007 16:14

I wrote an article about Israel and the space colonization more than 5 years ago. A lot of people catalogue it as visionary, but now, in the words of Gen. Eliezer Shkedy, it seems like an inmediate reality. The space is one dimention that Israel and the Jewsih People should explore and think very seriously. now talking about space, was like talking abour cloning 10-15 years a go. The Moon is not to far: is only a matter of technology and will.

Israelis have the technology to get ahead of the pack.

Israel must prepare for space warfare


Israel will be facing a possible threat to its vital space-based assets within the coming decade for which it has to start preparing immediately, Israel Air Force chief Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Shkedy told the second Ilan Ramon Annual International Space Conference in Herzliya Wednesday.

His comments came in light of China's destruction on January 11 of one of its own satellites, an act that has sparked concern among the world's leading space powers that potential enemies may target their space-based assets in a version of Star Wars not heard of since the Reagan administration at the height of the Cold War.

Although China has officially denied any military or political motivation for its act two weeks ago, a point reaffirmed Wednesday to the Post by the Chinese military attache in Israel, the US and India have, since the Chinese incident, made remarks about the need to protect their civilian and military [dual-use] space assets.

Addressing the conference, which was held under the auspices of the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Herzliya, and the Science, Sports and Culture Ministry, Shkedy said: "The advantage of information and intelligence in a time of war is paramount to victory. Operational capabilities, command and control, as well as application of force are increasingly connected to space-based assets. It is hard to imagine fighting a war without these assets. Israel will develop its capabilities in space in the coming years as the connection between the military and space is growing. The Americans, Indians and Chinese are all investing huge sums of money in space."

From a purely operational perspective, Shkedy added, Israel needed to become fully autonomous in its space industry and develop its own capabilities. While not relating to China's motivations for destroying its satellite in the fashion that it did, Shkedy said the message "cannot be ignored."

"Battle in space is on our agenda, whether we want it there or not. We need to understand how we develop and protect our space assets at the relevant time. Within five to 10 years this will sadly be very relevant. There may be those who would seek to harm our forces in space, as they would our forces on land and at sea. We could face this reality in a high-intensity conflict in the future," Shkedy said.

Last year, at the first Ilan Ramon Conference, Shkedy announced a change in the official name of the Israel Air Force, to the Israel Air and Space Command. Israel Aircraft Industries recently changed its name to the Israel Aerospace Industries.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz, who was not at the conference but sent a statement to delegates, said Israel had to be ready for "present and future threats" from unfriendly nations harming its space assets, "as we saw was possible by the Chinese example."

"Israel needs to make sure that it is not cut off from its space assets during a time of conflict," Peretz said.

Maj.-Gen. [res] Prof. Chaim Eshed, head of the Space Program Department of the Defense Ministry, says that while the surveillance aspect of the global satellite industry is at five percent, Israel's situation is much different, with a much larger percentage of Israel's space-based assets focused on high-resolution surveillance and other defense-related surveillance functions.

Gen.[res] Prof. Itzhak Ben-Israel, head of the Israel Space Agency, said satellites are integral to the direction of smart munitions, such as the Joint Direct Attack Munitions [JDAM], or bunker-busting guided missiles, of which, as first reported in The Jerusalem Post this week, Israel has just purchased $100 million worth.



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