Sa'ar 3-class missile boat
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|Preceded by:||Sa'ar 2-class missile boat|
|Succeeded by:||Sa'ar 4-class missile boat|
|Displacement:||210 tons (250 tons loaded)|
|Length:||45 m (148 ft)|
|Beam:||7.62 m (25.0 ft)|
|Speed:||42 knots (78 km/h)|
|Range:||1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km) at 19 knots (35 km/h), 500 nautical miles (930 km) at 30 knots (56 km/h)|
|Fire-control radar - Orion|
|Armament:||4 Harpoon launchers, 6 Gabriel SSN missiles, 76 mm Oto Melara gun|
Sa'ar 3 class ("Cherbourg") is a class of missile boats built in France at the Cherbourg shipyard based on Israeli Navy modification of the German Navy's Jaguar class fast attack craft. They are also known as the stars of Cherbourg.
Design and development
The Israeli naval command had reached the conclusion by the early 1960s that their old Second World War-era destroyers, frigates and corvettes were obsolete and new ships and vessels were needed. A survey was undertaken and the German shipyard of Lürssen was recommended. The shipyard was asked to design a new generation of small missile boat platforms and to modify the suggested wooden Jaguar-class torpedo boats according to Israeli Navy requirements. Due to Arab League pressure on the German government, this plan was not continued and a new builder was sought. The Israeli Navy survey recommended that the Cherbourg-based Félix Amiot would build the boats, based upon the German designs and plans. The boats and engines were German-designed, and constructed by the French. The project received the codename "Fall" (Autumn).
Sa'ar 3 ships' first battle engagements were made in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War. During this war, the first surface to surface missile naval engagements took place. The first was at the Battle of Latakia where the Israeli Navy attacked Syrian ships and coastal targets using their guns and missiles. This was followed shortly thereafter by Israeli attacks against Egyptian forces at the Battle of Baltim.
Ships in the class
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- Rabinovich (1988), pp. 256-262
- Rabinovich, Abraham (1988). The Boats of Cherbourg: The Secret Israeli Operation That Revolutionized Naval Warfare (1st ed.). New York: Seaver Books. ISBN 978-0-8050-0680-3.
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