The construction of the four Sa’ar 6 warships was agreed to in a 430 million euro deal between Israel and the German company ThyssenKrupp in 2015.

BY ANNA AHRONHEIM  MAY 24, 2019 13:13 

Sa’ar 6 corvette | The Times of Israel
Israeli Navy inaugurates first Saar 6 corvette. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

The INS Magen, the Navy’s first Sa’ar 6 corvette, was officially named at a ceremony held at the Kiel shipyards in Germany.

The ceremony was headed by Navy Commander Maj.-Gen. Eli Sharvit, Defense Ministry Head of Procurement Avi Dadon, Navy Material Command head Yossi Ashkenazi, project head Brig.-Gen. Erez, as well as the Commander of the INS Magen Lt.-Col Baruch. Commanders and soldiers who took part in the project and shipyard employees also attended the ceremony.The ceremony included the customary breaking a bottle of champagne on the ship’s bow by the navy commander’s wife, Etti Sharvit.

The construction of the four Sa’ar 6 warships was agreed to in a 430 million euro deal between Israel and the German company ThyssenKrupp in 2015.  

The INS Magen is expected to arrive in the spring of 2020.

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.

“The Sa’ar 6 corvettes, including the INS Magen, will significantly increase the strength of Israel’s missile boat flotilla, and they will serve as the ‘tip of the spear’ in protecting strategic Israeli interests,” read a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

The Sa’ar 6 will have a maximum speed of 26 knots and a crew of 70 sailors, a range of 2500 miles, and advanced capabilities able to deal with a wide range of threats. They will be fitted with two Naval Iron Dome short range defense missile launchers with 20 Tamir missile 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 Torpedoes.

“Today, when we give the missile corvette a Hebrew name – the INS Magen – we add another significant brick to our country’s protective wall. Building watercraft is like going on a long, many-year trip,’ Sharvit said at the ceremony. “One step after another we walk a complex path which presents many challenges and requires close cooperation with many others along the way. I would like to thank all our partners in this journey, both in the Navy and outside of it.”

“Just one year ago we stood here at a ceremony marking cutting the first metal, and here, a year later, we are standing in awe of the first of four ships, the INS Magen,” said Avi Dadon, the head of the Defense Ministry’s procurement department. “This unusual achievement is thanks to the hard work of Navy commanders and those in the Defense Ministry. Together with our partners in the German shipyard, you turned a dream into reality. This will dramatically influence the amount of power the Navy has.”

Thyssenkrupp CEO Rolf Wirtz said, “We are very proud to contribute to Israel’s security. The Sa’ar 6 ships are the most advanced and largest in the Israeli Navy. The Israeli industry will put together the final systems, and these ships will greatly aid the country’s economy.”

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