Hetz/Nirit Sa'ar 4.5
The first Hetz/Nirit class Sa'ar 4.5 missile craft was commissioned as the INS Hetz in 1991. By 2002, five additional Hetz class missile craft had been commissioned, including the INS Kidon, the INS Yaffo, the INS Tarshish, the INS Herev, and the INS Sufa.
The "Nirit" class missile boat was constructed as an improvement of the Sa'ar 4 class missile boat, and is the same length as the INS Noshav and the INS Chochit ships. Numerous changes were implemented in the ship's structure to better suit modern warfare tactics. The most significant change was the addition of a new masthead, capable of storing antenna and other sophisticated equipment. The INS Chatz was the first ship constructed based on the Nirit design, and was used as an experimental platform for modern weapons experiments- for the eventual use in the later constructed Nirit ships and the Sa'ar 5 class missile boats. The INS Kidon, INS Yaffo, INS Tarshish and INS Chorev ships were added to the Nirit fleet after undergoing intensive remodeling.
The Saar 4.5 represents the newest generation of small, fast-attack missile boats designed and built by ISRAEL SHIPYARDS LTD. (ISL) with flexibility to accept a full range of sensors and weapons. Its sophisticated systems, integrated by Elbit Systems Ltd., are highly reliable, easy to maintain and simple to operate. The semi-displacement hull form assures excellent seakeeping and enhanced crew comfort. The boat proved itself in the Mediterranean and Red Sea areas operated by the Israeli Navy as well as in Cape of Good Hope, South Pacific and Atlantic areas while serving in Foreign Navies.
Feature-packed with advanced capabilities and state-of-the-art equipment, the upgraded Saar 4.5 is a major step into the 21st. century, delivering superior performance in all combat scenarios. Developed by ISRAEL SHIPYARDS LTD. and Elbit Systems Ltd. in close cooperation with the Israeli Navy, the upgraded Saar 4.5 is ready for action today, and fully capable of facing virtually any naval threats well into the future.
The Hetz class missile craft is equipped with three types of missile systems: Barak, Harpoon, and Gabriel II. The Barak missile system was developed by Israeli Air Industries and Rafael, and has both anti-air and anti-surface capability. The Barak missile is vertically launched from two cells in the ship's bow and has a maximum range of 10 km.
The Harpoon missile system was developed by Boeing and serves as a long range surface to surface weapon. The Hetz class missile craft is equipped with two Harpoon missile batteries, each containing four launchers. The Harpoon has a maximum range of 130 km. 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 and Hetz class ships carry six Gabriel II launchers. The Hetz class ship can be equipped with either an OTO Melara 3 76 mm main gun, or a Vulcan Phalanx Mk 15 25 mm CIWS weapon system.
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