INS Hanit at Haifa port, May 2010
|Builder:||Northrop Grumman by Ingalls Shipbuilding|
|Laid down:||April 5, 1993|
|Launched:||March 5, 1994|
|Commissioned:||February 7, 1995|
|Class & type:||Sa'ar 5-class corvette|
|Length:||85.64 m (280.97 ft)|
|Beam:||11.88 m (38.98 ft)|
|Draft:||3.45 m (11.32 ft)|
|Range:||3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km)|
|Aircraft carried:||Eurocopter Panther|
|Aviation facilities:||Helipad and helicopter hangar|
The INS Hanit (Hebrew: חנית, Spear) is a Sa'ar 5-class corvette of the Israeli Navy, built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in 1994. On July 14, 2006, during the 2006 Lebanon War, it suffered damage after being struck by a Hezbollah C-802 anti-ship missile.
Attack on July 14, 2006
During the 2006 Lebanon War, the vessel was patrolling in Lebanese waters ten nautical miles off the coast of Beirut. It was damaged on July 14, 2006 on the waterline, under the aft superstructure  by a missile (likely a Chinese-designed C-802) fired by Hezbollah that reportedly set the flight deck on fire and crippled the propulsion systems inside the hull. However, INS Hanit stayed afloat, extricated itself and made the rest of the journey back to Ashdod port for repairs on its own power. Four crew members were killed during the attack: Staff Sergeant Tal Amgar, Corporal Shai Atas, Sergeant Yaniv Hershkovitz, and First Sergeant Dov Steinshuss.
According to the Israeli Navy, the ship's sophisticated automatic missile defense system was not deployed, even though the early warning system is usually deployed during peace-time wargames. In the aftermath of the event, reports suggested that no known intelligence existed which would have pointed to the fact that such a sophisticated missile was deployed in Lebanon by Hezbollah. In fact, the investigative work of Ha'aretz journalists Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff showed that a certain Colonel K., an intelligence officer, had given a lecture already on April 21, 2003, predicting that Hezbollah had shore-to-sea missiles in its possession. Furthermore, on the morning of Friday, July 14, 2006, one of the branch heads of naval intelligence, Lieutenant-Colonel Y. briefed the head of naval intelligence, Colonel Ram Rothberg, telling him that "ships enforcing Israel's naval blockade on Hezbollah should take into account the possibility of a C-802 missile being fired on them." The assessment, however, did not result in a warning. If such a warning had been issued, Israeli ships would have moved farther away from the shore and activated their anti-missile systems.
As a result of the incident, two navy officers, two junior officers and the commander of the ship were formally reprimanded and repositioned to non-commanding positions on land. One of the junior officers had shut down the central radar and parts of the defence system without notifying the commander, in the belief that the ship was not under threat.
An official IDF report on the Lebanon war incident reveals that the crew did not act sufficiently in order to anticipate the threat.
The IDF report, which was submitted to Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, said, "as far as the intelligence picture is concerned, it was found that despite the lack of pinpoint information about the weapon in the hands of Hezbollah, there was information in the Navy in the past that could have led to some type of an assessment that the enemy holds shore-to-ship missiles." In addition, failures were uncovered in "the way the forces understood the operative reality and implemented it."  As a result of this failure to predict possible missile threats, to save energy an officer had left the ship's anti-missile suite, designed to track incoming missiles, in standby-mode while patrolling near the coast.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to INS Hanit.|
- "Hezbollah missile hits Navy ship off Beirut coast". Haaretz. 2006-07-14.
- "Missile, Not Drone, Hit Israeli Warship". London: The Guardian. 2006-07-15.[dead link]
- "Striking Deep Into Israel, Hamas Employs an Upgraded Arsenal" by MARK MAZZETTI, The New York Times, Dec. 31, 2008.
- "INS Hanit Suffers Iranian Missile Attack". Defense Update. 2006-07-16.
- "Strike on Israeli Navy Ship". NAVSEA. 2006-07-19.
- "Middle East Crisis: Hezbollah-Israel conflict wrap". Spero News. 2006-07-15.
- Harel, Amos; Issacharoff, Avi (2008-01-18). "How the navy missed its boat". Ha'aretz English.
- Greenberg, Hanan (2007-01-01). "Officers reprimanded over Hanit vessel incident". YnetNews.
- Greenberg, Hanan (2006-11-07). "Report: Ship crew didn't realize missile threat". YnetNews.
- Israel Navy Faults Humans, Not Technology, for Ship Attack, BARBARA OPALL-ROME, TEL AVIV, Defense News, Springfield Virginia News
- Gardner, Frank (2006-08-03). "Hezbollah missile threat assessed". BBC.
- Exclusive: Photos of navy ship hit during war revealed. YnetNews. 10.11.07
- Yehoshua, Yossi (March 6, 2014). בראש הכוח עמדה אח"י חנית שנפגעה בלבנון. Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved September 27, 2014.