Palmachim Airbase

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Palmachim Air Force Base

בסיס חיל האוויר פלמחים
OperatorIsraeli Air Force
Israel Space Agency
LocationCentral District, Israel
Elevation AMSL32 ft / 10 m
Coordinates31°53′52″N 34°41′26″E / 31.89778°N 34.69056°E / 31.89778; 34.69056Coordinates: 31°53′52″N 34°41′26″E / 31.89778°N 34.69056°E / 31.89778; 34.69056
Palmachim Air Force Base is located in Central Israel
Palmachim Air Force Base
Palmachim Air Force Base
Palmachim Air Force Base is located in Israel
Palmachim Air Force Base
Palmachim Air Force Base
Direction Length Surface
ft m
03/21 7,884 2,403 asphalt
13/31 2,636 803 asphalt

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.

The base is home to several IAF helicopter and UAV squadrons, and serves as a rocket launch site for the Arrow missile.[1]

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 31°53′04″N 34°40′49″E / 31.88444°N 34.68028°E / 31.88444; 34.68028 (Shavit launchpad). 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:

In July 2007, it was agreed that once Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv was closed, its military terminal would be transferred to Palmachim.[9] The terminal was transferred when Sde Dov Airport ceased operations in July 2019.


The current units at Palmachim include:

Orbital launch history[edit]

Type of rocket Date of Launch Launch Location Payload Mission Status
Shavit 19 September 1988 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-1 Success, experimental payload
Shavit 3 April 1990 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-2 Success, experimental payload
Shavit 15 September 1994 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq ? Failure, unknown payload [10]
Shavit-1 5 April 1995 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-3 Success, first Israeli operational satellite in orbit
Shavit-1 22 January 1998 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-4 Failure
Shavit-1 28 May 2002 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-5 Success, second Israeli operational satellite in orbit
Shavit-1 6 September 2004 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-6 Failure
Shavit-2 11 June 2007 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-7 Success, third Israeli operational satellite in orbit
Shavit-2 22 June 2010 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-9 Success [11]
Shavit-2 9 April 2014 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-10 Success
Shavit-2 13 September 2016 Palmachim Airbase Israel Ofeq-11 Success
Shavit-2 6 July 2020 Palmachim Airbase Israel 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".[3] 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.[5]


  1. ^ "U.S./Israel Complete Successful Arrow Missile Defense Test".
  2. ^ Israel Launches New Spy Satellite accessed 12 June 2007
  3. ^ a b Azoulay, Yuval (18 January 2008). "Missile test 'will improve deterrence'". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  4. ^ Israel Launches Ofeq-9 Satellite Archived 2010-06-23 at WebCite
  5. ^ a b Pfeffer, Anshel (2 November 2011). "IDF test-fires ballistic missile in central Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Israel launches Ofeq 10 radar-based spy satellite". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Israel launches Ofeq 11 surveillance satellite". Globes. 13 September 2016.
  8. ^ Surkes, Sue (29 May 2017). "Israel launches propulsion rocket in early morning test". Times of Israel. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  9. ^ Petersburg, Ofer (3 July 2007). "Tel Aviv airport to make way for luxury project". Ynetnews. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
  10. ^ "Shavit (Israel), Space launch vehicles - Orbital". Jane's Information Group. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  11. ^ Greenberg, Hanan (22 June 2010). "Israel launches spy satellite". Ynetnews. Retrieved 22 June 2010.

External links[edit]