JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel successfully launched a new military reconnaissance satellite.
The Ofek 10 satellite was launched into orbit late Wednesday night and began transmitting data and visual material, according to Israel’s Ministry of Defense.
The satellite was launched by the research and development department of Israel’s Ministry of Defense in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries.
Ofek 10 is an observation remote-sensing satellite that employs synthetic aperture radar technology with advanced high-resolution imagery, and is capable of operating day or night and in all weather conditions, according to the Ministry of Defense. The Ofek series of advanced satellites was first launched in 1988. Ofek is Hebrew for horizon.
Also on Wednesday, the new ‘Samson’ C-130J Super Hercules military aircraft landed in Israel. The plane boosts the Israel Air Forces’ long-range capabilities which include airborne supply, transportation of troops and cargo, aerial refueling for helicopters and planes, electronic warfare, maritime patrol and special operations, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
A welcome ceremony was held in the presence of the Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon, the Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, and senior members of Lockheed Martin, manufacturer of the aircraft.
At least four more Samson aircraft are scheduled to arrive in July 2014 and during 2015.
“This aircraft is a testimony of the unique strategic relationship between the State of Israel and the U.S., to the strong ties between the Israel Air Force and the United States Air Force,” Maj.- Gen. Amir Eshel, commander of the Israel Air Force, said in a statement.
Gantz said the new plane “gives the IDF extended operational flexibility and strengthens our long range capabilities, making us more accurate and powerful than ever.”