Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) is developing a more powerful version of its Shavit launcher to carry new Israeli intelligence satellites and to compete in the international launcher market.

The current Shavit launcher was first used in 1988 to put the Offeq-1 satellite into orbit. The Offeq-3 now in orbit was also launched by the Shavit.

The launcher is a derivative of Israel's Jericho long-range ballistic missile. The Shavit is a small three-stage, solid-propellant booster made by MLM, the large missiles division of IAI.

The new Shavit version will have an advanced upper stage to replace the current AUS-51. The new four-stage version, dubbed Next-2, will be powered by liquid propellant and will have a global positioning system receiver for improved satellite positioning.

The new Shavit will be longer and heavier than the current launcher.

Source: Flight International