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Saar 6 Corvette

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 is building four ships to add to Israel’s sea-based missile shield called Iron Dome, according to a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces. "A ceremony which marked the construction initiation of the Saar 6 Class Corvettes was held in Kiel, Germany. Four Saar 6 Class Corvettes will be integrated gradually into the Israeli Navy over the next three years," it was announced 07 February 2018. Israeli Navy Commander Aluf Eli Sharvit described the German-built corvettes as key to the maritime missile shield. The sea-based Iron Dome went live last November. Together with three US-built ships already in service, the four corvettes will protect the Jewish state’s gas rigs and shipping lanes from rocket attacks.

Several Israeli businessmen, including confidants of PM Netanyahu and a former commander of the navy, are suspects in a graft scandal connected to the purchase of the warships and submarines from German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp. Israeli police raided the Ministry of Defense as part of the investigation into the negotiations of the naval transaction of several billion shekels about a shipbuilding contract involving German ThyssenKrupp. The purchase of patrol ships and submarines was carefully examined after it was found that David Shimron, the personal lawyer of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also served as an adviser to ThyssenKrupp group, the shipbuilder that was awarded the contract.

In May 2015, Israel and Germany signed an agreement to equip the Israeli Navy with four “Sa’ar 6” ships from the “Magen” line, which will be a central element in the defense of Israel’s economic waters, strategic assets, and continuous energy of the State of Israel at sea. The “Sa’ar 6” ship has many capabilities, including a high-trajectory anti-missile system and a high-trajectory shooting interceptor, close and far-reaching attack capability, long-term survivability, sea and air detection capabilities, and the ability to carry a Seahawk helicopter.

In addition, advanced combat systems will be installed on the ships such as the Naval Iron Dome, Barak 8, electronic warfare systems, cyber defense systems and means of detection and surveillance. After the design phase, the construction phase began with the ceremony to start burning the type ship in February 2018. Only 15 months after the first steel was cut, the ship was undocked, thus fulfilling the ambitious schedule. The four ships are expected to arrive by the beginning of 2021, the first of which will arrive at the end of 2019.

On April 22, 2018, Israeli Navy Commander in Chief, Major General Eli Sharvit, announced the names of the four upcoming “Sa’ar 6” boats: INS “Magen,” “Oz,” “Independence,” and “Victory.” Navy Commander in Chief, Major General Eli Sharvit said, “We will receive the ships in about two years, each one a few months after the last. The arrival of the ships is expected to significantly change the face of the Navy and the Shayetet 3 in particular. The Israeli Navy will employ tools with new capabilities that we do not possess today with excellent and precise defense and attack capabilities, headed by the defense of the State of Israel’s strategic assets at sea.”

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 will be equipped with advanced defense systems after reaching an agreement with 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).

A powerful radar, helipad, and the Naval Iron Dome are all aboard the “Sa’ar 6-class Corvette” missile boat. The Israeli Navy will soon receive 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.

Hezbollah has 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 will equip itself with four new "Sa’ar 6-class Corvette" boats, which will be 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 ship will have the ability to deal with high trajectory fire at gas rigs in Israeli waters, and other possible threats.

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Page last modified: 09-11-2020 18:41:45 ZULU