Amidst the continued controversy surrounding women joining combat units in the military, six female naval combat recruits enlisted in the Israeli Navy for the first time to serve on the new Sa’ar 6 corvette missile ships.“In the framework of the November 2018 enlistment, five female soldiers were recruited for the first time to serve as naval fighters on the Sa’ar 6 missile ships,” read a statement from the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. A sixth female soldier will join the other combat soldiers at the end of basic training. The IDF said that the “recruitment of the female fighters is part of a long-term plan to absorb the new Sa’ar 6 missile ship.”While the prestigious Naval Officers Course opened its gates to women in 1998 and in 2014 the option of becoming a naval vessel commander became available to women, there have not been any female sailors serving on missile ships prior to these five recruits.The recruits’s six-month basic training at the Haifa naval base will include a comprehensive course for their role aboard the corvette.While the female sailors will begin their service on the Sa’ar 5 INS Lahav, they will move to the Sa’ar 6 INS Magen next year when the ship becomes operational.The construction of the four Sa’ar 6 warships was agreed to in a €430 million deal between Israel and the German company ThyssenKrupp in 2015. The first ship will arrive at the end of 2019, and the last in 2021. The boats will defend Israel’s offshore natural gas reserves, as well as other strategic maritime assets.According to the IDF, the female soldiers will serve in command and control centers responsible for the building of a maritime image as well as in attack centers which are responsible for the launching and operation of weapons aboard the missile ships.The Sa’ar 6 will have a maximum speed of 26 knots and a crew of 70 sailors, a range of 4,000 km., and advanced capabilities able to deal with a wide range of threats.According to the military, the new Sa’ar 6 are set to defend Israel’s strategic maritime assets such as the country’s offshore natural gas reserves, “as well as maintaining Israel’s sovereignty in the near and far seas, destroying the enemy’s war fleets and significantly contributing to complex and secret missions in the war-between-war campaign.”They will be fitted with two naval Iron Dome short-range defense missile launchers with 20 Tamir missiles for each launcher and Barak-8 long-range surface-to-air missile naval defense system.They will also have 16 anti-ship missiles, one 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid main gun, two Typhoon 25mm remote weapon stations, and two 324mm torpedo launchers for MK54 Lightweight Torpedos.