SHAVIT 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; and,
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)