Second Sa'ar 6 corvette warship on its way to Israel

The IDF's new Sa'ar 6-class corvette warship

The first Sa'ar 6 warship, the INS 'Magen,' arrived in Israel in December, and two more are slated to arrive by the end of 2021, and will become the backbone of the Israeli Navy.

The Israeli Navy’s second Sa’ar 6 corvette warship, the INS Oz, was officially handed over in Germany on Tuesday and is expected to dock in Haifa in the coming weeks.
The handover ceremony took place in Kiel at the Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) dock, and was attended by Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff, and Israel Navy head of shipyard equipment Brig.-Gen. Ariel Shir.
Built by TKMS in Kiel, the INS Oz is the second of four Sa’ar 6 ships coming to Israel following the INS Magen that arrived in December, and will be operational in the next year or two. The two others are named the INS Atzma’ut and the INS Nitzahon, with the latter expected in Israel by the end of 2021.
The arrival of the ships is the result of an ongoing partnership between Israel and Germany to strengthen their strategic cooperation.
Israel’s Navy is made up of routine patrol units, submarines (Shayetet 7), naval special forces (Shayetet 13) and missile boats (Shayetet 3). The new ships, which will give the Navy a total of 15 missile ships along with the aging Sa’ar 5 missile ships that are nearing 30 years old, will be the backbone of the fleet.
The new 90m.-long, 2,000-ton ships have a maximum speed of 24 knots, with a range of 2,500 nautical miles. Though not much longer than the Sa’ar 5, they have been built to better handle rough seas and stay at sea longer.
They will be covered in close to 300 static radar arrays that will be able to detect incoming aerial threats that can then be shot down by either the two Iron Dome (Naval Dome) missile interceptors for rockets, or two Barak-8 batteries to shoot down cruise and ballistic missiles.
In addition to interception missile defense systems, the ships 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 Torpedoes.
Each state-of-the-art ship will also be outfitted with cyber and electronic warfare systems, and Elta’s EL/M-2248 MF-STAR active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar capable of tracking both air and surface targets.
The ship will be equipped with most of its weapons and radar systems in Israel.
The Sa’ar 6 ships are part and parcel of the IDF’s new multi-dimensional warfare strategy that is a key part of the IDF’s “Momentum Multi-Year Plan” to quickly and efficiently defeat the enemy. Under the plan, all branches of the military will be interconnected and working directly together to increase the number of enemy targets destroyed – though mostly by the Air Force – and aid ground forces on the frontlines.
Should a war break out, at least two Sa’ar 6 ships will be deployed to protect Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone and gas rigs, while the rest of the fleet would assist ground forces by bombarding enemy troops and weapons systems that could target both the home front and gas rigs while simultaneously destroying any aerial targets fired toward maritime assets and naval vessels.
During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah struck the INS Hanit (another Sa’ar 5 corvette missile ship) with a Chinese-made C-802 anti-ship missile, killing four sailors. It was a devastating surprise for the Israeli defense establishment, and is still entrenched in the Navy’s memory.
That attack changed the Navy’s DNA, and understanding that the enemy was fighting from the shore toward the sea was the catalyst that led it to a change in how it operates.
The Sa’ar 6 was built with that in mind, knowing that the enemy fights in an asymmetric way, and that the missile ships can deal with threats from the shore and be interconnected with both ground and air forces to detect and destroy threats in real time.

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