Saar 6 Corvette
The SA'AR 6-class ships will form the backbone of the Israeli Navy for the next 30 years. A powerful radar, helipad, and the Naval Iron Dome are all aboard the “Sa’ar 6-class Corvette” missile boat. A powerful radar, helipad, and the Naval Iron Dome are all aboard the “Sa’ar 6-class Corvette” missile boat. This new class of boats that will protect gas rigs and economic enterprises in Israeli waters. Protecting strategic economic assets in Israeli waters is a priority for the State of Israel. This is particularly important, given the fact that by 2020, 75% of electricity generation will be based on natural gas drilled from within Israeli waters.
The ships have the stealthy design of a low-signature missile corvette with tailor-made solutions and numerous new technologies on board. Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems built the ships in a joint venture with German Naval Yards Kiel. Thanks to anti-missile and interception features, which are based on the “Adir” radar and a significant number of interceptors, the ship will have the ability to deal with high trajectory fire at gas rigs in Israeli waters, and other possible threats.
The Sa'ar 6-class corvette is a class of four German-made warships ordered for the Israeli Navy in May 2015. The ships' design is loosely based on the German Braunschweig-class corvette and the design of the German-made MEKO 100 patrol corvette. Germany built four ships to add to Israel’s sea-based Iron Dome missile shield. Additionally, the ships will be equipped with stabilized and supervised weapons, like the Naval Iron Dome and Barak 8 Missiles, which will be able to deal with all threats at sea. They’ll have the ability to produce images at sea, from the ground and air, and to stay at sea for longer periods of time. Furthermore, helipads for the upcoming SH-60 Seahawk helicopters will be added to the “Sa’ar 6-class Corvette” boats. This will enable the Seahawks to fly for long distances, thus providing a higher level of availability and protection.
This new class of boats will protect gas rigs and economic enterprises in Israeli waters. Protecting strategic economic assets in Israeli waters is a priority for the State of Israel. The mission was deemed necessary after valuable natural gas reserves were discovered within Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the early 2000s. Since 70% of the electricity in Israel today comes from natural gas produced by Israel's marine gas rigs, the discoveries called for a new way to protect Israel’s assets. Thus began the Israeli Navy’s initiative to bring new missile ships to Israel.
The ships have Anti-Missile Systems and high-trajectory interception based on "Adir" radar systems. According to assessments, terror armies (like Hezbollah and Hamas) in the region possess the ability to fire high-trajectory rockets of a wide range, that are able to reach the gas rigs. Because of this, it is highly important that the Israeli Navy’s missile boats have high-trajectory rocket and shore-to-sea missile interception systems, such as "Naval Dome" and LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device).
Additionally, the ships will be equipped with stabilized and supervised weapons, like the Naval Iron Dome and Barak 8 Missiles, which will be able to deal with all threats at sea. They’ll have the ability to produce images at sea, from the ground and air, and to stay at sea for longer periods of time. Furthermore, helipads for the upcoming SH-60 Seahawk helicopters will be added to the “Sa’ar 6-class Corvette” boats. This will enable the Seahawks to fly for long distances, thus providing a higher level of availability and protection.
Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar-6 corvettes are equipped with advanced defense systems from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The Barak 8a defense systems will be used to protect Israel’s exclusive economic zone and strategic facilities that face diversified threats in the marine region. “The Barak-8 system was chosen after it was demonstrated to meet the operational requirements and future challenges faced by the Navy,” the company said August 15, 2018. The contract was reached by the Navy, Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and the procurement administration in Israel’s Ministry of Defense. The Barak 8 missile defense system has been co-developed by Israel’s state-owned research and development bodies and the navies of India and Israel. The two countries have evenly spent the $350 million on the development of the system.
Elta’s MF-STAR active electronically scanned array radar will be installed on the Israeli Navy’s new Sa’ar 6-class corvettes in a new, box-like antenna configuration providing 360-degree coverage. ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was awarded a contract by the Systems Missiles and Space Group of IAI to supply to the Israeli Navy four ELM-2248 MF-STARs Multi-Function Digital Radars, based on the latest Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology.
The radars are to be installed on the new Sa’ar 6-class corvette warships recently acquired by the Navy, tasked to protect the Israeli maritime domain and critical assets such as natural gas platforms against missiles, rockets and enemy aircraft. To be installed on the ship’s masts, the MF-STAR comprises four conformal phased array S-Band antennas providing 360° coverage. The Israeli Navy selected this version as it is optimized for the design of the Sa’ar 6 vessel, offering maximum performance. AESA technology allows for faster threat alert response time, better accuracy, and the ability to simultaneously track multiple targets and different target-types thereby providing an optimal Situational Awareness Picture (SAP).
Sea-to-sea missile system have more accurate offensive capabilities, longer ranges, improved operational flexibility, and better capabilities to face advanced threats. The area of Israel’s EEZ more than twice that of Israel’s land territory. The Sa’ar 6 Corvettes will enable naval combat personnel to control the arena faster, and provide a high-quality defensive envelope even at a distance from a security threat. The ships have an ability to remain at sea for extended periods of time: The EEZ defense mission never stops. The Sa’ar 6 Corvettes can remain at sea for longer periods of time than the Israeli Navy’s existing missile boats, and therefore are able to create long-term defensive continuity.
The Sa’ar 6 Corvettes possess air and surface target detection capabilities: This will include a response to the existing threats from the air, target detection and wide battle space collection capabilities. They have the ability to carry mid-size helicopters, such as the Seahawk. The new Seahawk helicopters that will be used by Sa’ar 6 Corvettes will be powerful, and able to operate over long ranges and extended periods of time. In this fashion, the ships will be able to provide a comprehensive defensive envelope. Multidimensional Communication interoperability with all IDF Networks are able to interact and initiate communication with other IDF branches and units.
Hezbollah identified Israeli gas installations as high-priority targets. In a 2018 speech, the group's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said he could destroy Israeli gas assets “within a few hours” if there was a government order to do so. Hezbollah is part of an alliance that dominates Lebanese politics and government.
In order to protect these gas rigs, the navy equiped itself with four new "Sa’ar 6-class Corvette" boats, a central element in the defense of Israel's energy and economic resources at sea. Thanks to anti-missile and interception features, which are based on the “Adir” radar and a significant number of interceptors, the ships have the ability to deal with high trajectory fire at gas rigs in Israeli waters, and other possible threats.
The Commander of the Israeli Navy, Maj. Gen. Eli Sharvit stated: "The mission of defending Israel's Exclusive Economic Zone and strategic assets at sea is our primary security mission of the Israeli Navy. These assets are essential to the operational continuity of the State of Israel, and having the ability to protect them has a critical importance. The security needed to protect the EEZ is clear. The best protection method of that space and the assets in it is by ships, and the Sa’ar 6 Corvettes fulfill that operational need in a precise and excellent way.”
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