Man looks at Israeli Navy boat off Ashdod 370.
(photo credit: Amir Cohen / Reuters)
The Israel Navy is looking to install short- and long-range surface-to-surface
missiles on new vessels it hopes to buy in the coming year.
requirement for the new missile systems is based on the navy’s desire to assist
large IDF ground offensives either in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon or Syria. The
missiles could be used to attack enemy installations – bases or radar stations –
and to provide fire support for ground forces.
“These missiles will give
us the ability to play a more influential role,” a senior navy officer
In Israel’s recent wars and operations – the Second Lebanon War and
Operation Cast Lead – the navy mostly enforced sea a sea blockade and provided
minimal support for ground forces operating along the Gaza coast.
navy is looking at a number of systems, including Israel Military Industries’
160 mm Accular – a GPS-guided missile system with a range of 40 km., as well as
The navy is in talks with the Defense Ministry
about the need for new vessels to more effectively protect Israeli gas rigs that
are under construction in the Mediterranean Sea. It is seeking a larger platform
than the Sa’ar 5-class corvettes it currently operates.
The vessel will
have to accommodate an advanced radar system, a helicopter and a launch system
capable of firing long-range air defense and surface-to-surface missiles. One
possibility is to design the ships in the United States using foreign military
financing and then build them at Israel Shipyards; another option is to build
them in South Korea.