The C-Dome air defense system mounted on Sa’ar 6 corvette includes a 40-round canister located at the front deck and loaded with vertically-launched Tamir surface-to-air missiles for 360-degree coverage. (Picture source NavalAnalyses.com) Note Harpoon missiles have been replaced by Israeli developed Gabriel V anti-ship missiles.
JERUSALEM, July 2 (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Saturday it had sent three unarmed drones towards an Israeli Mediterranean gas rig, which the Israeli military said it had intercepted.
Israel has been expecting attacks on its offshore energy facilities. Providing a counter was a primary justification for their new Sa’ar 6 corvettes (earlier discussion here).
My presumption is that the intercepts were made by C-Dome, the a sea-going version of the Iron Dome, an AAW missile system that has had a high degree of success in countering unguided rocket attacks on Israel and can serve as a Counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) system. Each of the Sa’ar 6 corvettes has vertical launch systems for 40 interceptors. At least one of the three Sa’ar 5 corvettes has also been fitted with C-RAM.
All four of the Sa’ar 6 have been delivered and at least two of them are reported to be active. In addition to C-Dome the Israeli corvettes are also equipped with Barak missile systems.
Offshore assets appear to be appealing terrorist targets, usually undefended and vulnerable, with potentially high public visibility, if it results in an environmental disaster.
A number of things remain unclear at this point. The type of drones used in the attack, the Israeli system used to bring down the drones, the range at time of intercept, and which vessel or vessels fired the weapons.
Actually it is not clear if the drones were brought down by missiles.
An Israeli security source also said the drones had been unarmed. Saturday’s interceptions were the first time an air defense system (emphasis applied–Chuck) mounted on an Israeli naval ship had downed an incoming target, the military said.
Could it have been a gun or even a soft kill system?