Aliya Sa'ar 4.5
Israel launched the first Aliya class Sa'ar 4 missile craft in 1980. The INS Aliya was launched in August 1980, and the Geoula was launched in December of the same year. Both ships were manufactured by the Israel Shipyard in Haifa.These missile ships were first used in service in the 1980's and 90's and are an improved version of the Sa'ar 4 Class Boats. The Sa'ar 4 Class Boats were reconstructed and capabilities upgraded- specifically its fire power system and its marine combat technological system. In the past few years' further reconstruction was implemented on these boats, specifically, its propulsion system which was updated with 4 advanced 396 Maybach engines. A portion of the fleet was built to accommodate helicopter landing strips and hangers
In 1988, Israel begin a moderization program to convert older Sa'ar 4 class ships to Sa'ar 4.5 class ships with upgraded weapons and navigation systems. The two Aliya class ships were part of this moderization program. In January 2004, Mexico announced the purchase of Israel's two Aliya class ships. Both ships were delivered to Mexico in August 2004.
The Aliya class missile craft was originally equipped with two missile systems: Harpoon and Gabriel II. The Harpoon missile system was developed by Boeing and serves as a long range surface to surface weapon. The Aliya class was equipped with two Harpoon missile batteries, each containing four launchers. The Harpoon has a maximum range of 130 km. Israel removed the Harpoon missile systems prior to selling the Ailya ships to Mexico.
The Gabriel II missile system is a short to medium range anti-ship weapon developed by Israeli Air Industries. The Gabriel II has a maximum range of 36 km; Aliya class ships carry four Gabriel II launchers, which were included in the sale to Mexico.
The Aliya class ships were built with a 40 mm main gun, which was replaced with a Vulcan Phalanx Mk 15 25 mm CIWS weapon system in 1986. The Aliya class ship is one of the smallest crafts with a helicopter hanger, which is capable of holding an H-665 Dauphin.
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