Israeli Aircraft Industry officials, senior IDF commanders and security officials as well as overseas guests invited to watch the experimental launching of a long range artillery missile on Wednesday morning, were unaware that satellite images from the situation room, including secret codes and details of the system were broadcasted simultaneously to the region, including countries such as Syria, Iran and Libya.
Details of the foul-up that led to the footage being broadcasted to “anyone with a satellite dish” were revealed in an exclusive Channel 10 report on Wednesday night. Officials described the foul-up as the “wet dream” of any intelligence official.
Images that were forced to undergo censorship before being shown locally, showed personnel in the situation room discussing codes, passwords, names of senior security officials and other details without realizing that the images were being broadcasted at the same time to the world.
The footage also showed OC Ground Forces Maj. Gen. Yiftah Ron Tal together with overseas guests entering the situation room to watch the launching. After the countdown as the missile was fired, close up pictures showed the location where the missile was fired from, details of its components as well as other codes and details.
In an adjacent room, additional footage screened to the world and enemy nations showed close up photos of deputy Chief of Staff Maj.Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi sitting together with senior IDF and security officials viewing the launching.
All the images were broadcasted uncensored to the world.
According to the report IAI officials later claimed that nothing secret had been revealed, and the test had failed. Part of the footage displayed in the report was required to undergo heavy censorship, where codenames, faces of certain security officials and other details were blackened out or silenced.
Prior to the Channel 10 report, sources in IAI said the missile is being developed by IAI MLM Division, which produces missiles and rockets and is expected to tap into a world market for highly accurate, long range artillery shells to be used for high quality targets, a need seen in the latest war in Iraq.
The test firing took place from a barge at the sea, while it began well it failed to reach its intended distance dozens of kilometers away.