Perhaps the Most Well Armed Cutter Sized Corvette in the World

Click on the illustration above for better view

More on the Israeli’s new Sa’ar 6 Corvette from Navy Recognition, particularly in regard to the C-Dome missile system (reporting a range of 250 km). It has been over six years since I did my first post on this class. At the time, I thought the Offshore Patrol Cutters might be close in size, but they are more than twice as large as the Israeli ships. Did a second post in Aug. 2015. and I have posted comments as additional details became available, but it is time for another look.

These will be the largest combatants in the Israeli Navy, but their dimensions are still quite modest:

  • displacement: 1900 tons
  • Length: 90 m (295.2′)
  • Beam: 13.5 m (44.3′)
  • Draft: 3.5 m (11.5)
  • Speed: 27 knots
  • Crew: 70

First of the class of four, INS Magen, has completed sea trials and the German shipbuilder has delivered it to the Israelis, who will install the Israel sourced weapon systems. The remaining ships are expected to follow at six month intervals.

Note, contrary to the labeling on the illustration, the 16 missiles amidships, shown in green, will be Gabriel V anti-ship missiles rather than Harpoons. (Gabriel V will also arm the new Finnish ice-capable corvette.)

Aviation facilities are also surprising. The ships are expected to support and hangar an H-60 ASW helicopter and may also support a vertical take-off Unmanned air system.

These ships are remarkable, for their size and crew strength (only 70), in being capable in all three primary warfare areas, ASW, ASuW, and AAW. Their capabilities exceed those of many frigates and approach those of DDGs four times their size.

With a total of eighty-eight missile launch tubes, assuming they are all filled, it seems these will be the most heavily armed ships of their size in the world.

Israel Builds an OPC with a Difference

Saar6PortQuarter

NavyRecognition has some more details about the four 90 meter, 2,000 ton OPV/Corvettes Israel ordered on 22 Dec.2014 that we talked about earlier.

Feeling more immediate threats than the US, Israel’s priorities are of course different from our own. Range and seakeeping are less important, while military capabilities have come to the fore.

They will have a non-rotating multi-function solid-state active phased array radar system (a sort of mini-Aegis system) integrated into the two masts, a 76 mm gun, two Typhoon gun systems essentially the same as our Mk38 mod2s like those on the Webber Class, Vertical Launch Systems for the Barak medium range AAW missile system, the shorter range C-Dome point defense system that uses the Iron Dome interceptor, and what appears to be 16 launchers for anti-ship cruise missiles, probably Harpoon.

The NavyRecognition post does not talk much about its ASW capability, other than to say that they will have 324mm torpedo launchers and facilities for support of a SH-60 helicopter, but since the much smaller Saar5 corvettes have both a hull mounted sonar and a towed array, these are likely to be included as well.

While we will certainly not load up our OPC with weapons like this, it does show how much combat power can be incorporated in a small ship