Sa'ar 5-class corvette
Sa'ar 5 corvettes
|Builders:||Northrop Grumman by Ingalls Shipbuilding|
|Preceded by:||Sa'ar 4.5 class missile boat|
|Active:||INS Eilat, INS Lahav, INS Hanit|
|Class & type:||Corvette|
|Length:||85.64 m (280.97 ft)|
|Beam:||11.88 m (38.98 ft)|
|Draft:||3.17 m (10.40 ft)|
|Range:||3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km)|
|Armor:||Steel and aluminum|
|Aircraft carried:||Eurocopter Panther|
|Aviation facilities:||Helipad and helicopter hangar|
Sa'ar 5 (Hebrew: tempest סער) is a class of Israeli Navy corvette, designed based on lessons learned from the Sa'ar 4.5 class ships. Three Sa'ar 5 ships were built by Huntington Ingalls Industries (formerly Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation of Pascagoula, Mississippi) for the Israeli Navy, based on Israeli designs.
Three such ships have been built, all of which are in service with the Israeli Navy. They are the largest surface warships in Israel's naval fleet. Although they are "corvettes" due to their small size and crew of only 71, their weaponry and speed are almost comparable to that of a frigate. They are equipped with sonar, torpedoes, missile launchers, electronic warfare capabilities and decoys, a gun mount, and a helipad and helicopter hangar.
During the 2006 Lebanon War, the INS Hanit was attacked by Hezbollah as it was enforcing a naval blockade off Beirut. Hezbollah used an Iranian version of the Chinese C-802 missile. The resulting explosion caused the landing pad to cave in and be engulfed in flames that threatened the aviation fuel storage below, and the flames were not fully extinguished until several hours later. The ship suffered some damage, but stayed afloat, got itself out of the line of fire, and made the rest of the journey back to Ashdod for repairs on its own. The ship was repaired and resumed its combat role three weeks later. Four IDF sailors were killed.
An investigation into the incident by the Israeli Navy concluded that the missile was indeed a C-802 which hit a crane in the rear of the ship. The ship's radar system was not fully functional at the time, and both the ECM and the Barak anti-missile systems were in a two-minute stand-by mode. An officer ordered that the anti-missile defenses be switched off about an hour prior to the attack without notifying the captain. The decision was made due to intelligence assessments that Hezbollah did not have the capability to hit Israeli warships. The malfunction in ship's radar was also discovered, but the staff chose not to inform the captain.
On 31 May 2010, the INS Lahav and the INS Hanit participated in the Gaza flotilla raid, meant to stop a convoy of ships from breaching the blockade of the Gaza Strip, along with the missile boat INS Nitzachon.
Three ships of the Sa'ar 5-class have been built:
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- Amos Harel (November 9, 2006). "Missile attack on INS Spear: IDF probe faults navy, ship's crew". haaretz.com. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
- 2 IDF warships cross Suez to Red Sea - The Jerusalem Post - 14 July 2009
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