Israel launches new military satellite, welcomes Super Hercules aircraft


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel successfully launched a new military reconnaissance satellite.

The Ofek 10 satellite was sent into orbit late Wednesday night and began transmitting data and visual material, according to Israel’s Ministry of Defense, which worked with Israel Aerospace Industries on the launch.

It features advanced high-resolution imagery and can operate day or night 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 Wednesday, the new Samson C-130J Super Hercules military aircraft landed in Israel. The plane boosts the Israel Air Force’s 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.

Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, and senior members of Lockheed Martin, the aircraft’s manufacturer, were among those on hand for a ceremony welcoming the aircraft.

At least four more Samson aircraft are scheduled to arrive in July 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.


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