Sa'ar 4-class missile boat

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US Navy 100315-N-4774B-200 The Chilean navy Sa'ar 4-class fast-attack craft Angamos and Casma perform tactical maneuvering exercises in the Strait Of Magellan.jpg
Chilean Navy Sa'ar 4-class fast-attack craft Angamos and Casma perform tactical maneuvering exercises in the Strait Of Magellan
Class overview
Name: Saar 4
Preceded by: Sa'ar 3-class missile boat
Succeeded by: Sa'ar 4.5-class missile boat
General characteristics
Type: Missile boat
Displacement: 415 tons (450 tons full loaded)
Length: 58 m (190 ft)
Beam: 7.62 m (25.0 ft)
Draught: 2.4 m (7.9 ft)
Propulsion: 4 MTU 16V 538 diesel engines, four shafts, total of 12,800 hp (9,500 kW)
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h; 39 mph)
  • 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 17.5 kn (32.4 km/h)
  • 1,650 nmi (3,060 km; 1,900 mi) at 30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 45 officers and crewmen
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:

The Sa'ar 4 or Reshef class missile boats were built based on Israeli Navy designs grounded in accumulated experience derived in the operation of "Cherbourg" (Sa'ar 1, Sa'ar 2, and Sa'ar 3) classes. Thirteen were built at the Israel Shipyards, ten for the Israeli Navy and three for the South African Navy. Another six were built for the South African Navy in South Africa with Israeli assistance.

Sa'ar 4 boats' first battle engagements occurred in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War when two Sa'ar 4 boats, INS Reshef and INS Keshet, engaged Egyptian and Syrian ships and coastal targets. Israel had sold most of its Sa'ar 4 boats to other navies, but INS Nitzachon and INS Atzmaut remained in active Israeli Navy service until 2014.



Ten Sa'ar IV class boats were built for the Israeli Navy. As of 2013 only two remain in service. Three were disassembled, with systems taken for use in the construction of Sa'ar 4.5 class vessels. Three vessels and one hull stripped of systems were sold to Chile. Two vessels were sold to Sri Lanka.

Vessel name Meaning History Fate Status
INS Reshef Spark Launched in 1973.
Commissioned on February 1973.
Sold to Chile in 1997 as LM-34 Angamos. Sold
INS Keshet Bow Launched in 1973.
Commissioned on August 23 1973.
Sold to Chile in 1981 as LM-31 Chipana. Sold
INS Romach Lance Launched
in 1974.
Sold to Chile in 1979 as LM-30 Casma. Sold
INS Kidon Javelin Launched in 1974. Disassembled. Various systems reassembled atop Sa'ar 4.5 hull in 1994. The old hull sunk as an underwater memorial. Retired
INS Tarshish Tarshish Launched in 1975. Disassembled. Some systems reassembled atop Sa'ar 4.5 hull in 1995. The old hull sold to Chile in 1997 as LM-35 Papudo. In 1998 cannibalized for spares Chilean Navy
INS Yaffo Jaffa Launched in 1975. Disassembled. Various systems reassembled atop new Sa'ar 4.5-class missile boat hull in 1998. Retired
INS Nitzachon Victory Launched on 10 July 1978.
Commissioned on September 1978.
Redirected to anti-submarine warfare.
Retired 15 January 2014
INS Atzmaut Independence Launched on 3 December 1978.
Commissioned on February 1979.
Redirected to anti-submarine warfare.
Retired 5 March 2014
Sunk in July 2016, by 2 Harpoon (missile)s - launched by INS Hetz and INS Herev, in missile test conducted by the 3rd Flotilla.[2]
INS Moledet Homeland Launched in 1979. Redirected to anti-submarine warfare.
Sold to Sri-Lanka in 2000 as SLNS Suranimala.
INS Komemiyut Sovereignty Launched in 1980. Redirected to anti-submarine warfare.
Sold to Sri-Lanka in 2000 as SLNS Nandimitra.

South Africa[edit]

The Warrior-class strike craft (formerly designated Minister class) in service with the South African Navy are modified Sa'ar IV (Reshef class) fast attack craft.[3] In 1974, a contract was signed with Israeli Military Industries for the construction of three of the modified Reshef class vessels at the Haifa facility of Israeli Shipyards. A further three were built immediately after at the Sandock Austral shipyard in Durban, South Africa, with three more being built at the same facility several years later.[4] The imposition of the international embargo on the sale of arms to South Africa on 4 November 1977 forced the project to be carried out under a cloak of security.[4] The South African variants were fitted with Gabriel missiles, known in South Africa as 'Scorpion' missiles, and had two Oto Melara 76 mm guns instead of a single one with a Phalanx CIWS.

Sri Lanka[edit]

In 2000, two of the Israeli boats were sold to the Sri Lankan Navy, forming the Nandimithra Class. It is not certain if these boats retain the Harpoon missile capability, however, these boats retained their Gabriel missile capability.[5]


The Hellenic Coast Guard uses three Sa'ar 4 patrol boats armed only with a 30 mm gun. A crane is installed at the deck space normally reserved for missiles.[6]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Norman Friedman, The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems Naval Institute Press, Anapolis, MD, 1989, ISBN 1-55750-262-5, p. 241.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Warrior class strike craft". May 26, 2005. 
  4. ^ a b Cdr Thean Potgieter (November 26, 2004). "The Secret South African Project Team: Building Strike Craft in Israel, 1975-79" (PDF). University of Stellenbosch. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived June 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^