Sa'ar 5-class corvette

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INS Lahav.jpg
Sa'ar 5 INS Lahav with EL/M-2248 MF-STAR radar installed
Class overview
Name: Sa'ar 5
Builders: Northrop Grumman by Ingalls Shipbuilding
Operators:  Israeli Navy
Preceded by: Sa'ar 4.5 class missile boat
Completed: 3
Active: INS Eilat, INS Lahav, INS Hanit
General characteristics
Class and type: Corvette
Length: 85.64 m (280.97 ft)
Beam: 11.88 m (38.98 ft)
Draft: 3.45 m (11.32 ft)
Propulsion: Combined Diesel or Gas
Range: 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km)
  • 64 officers and crewmen
  • 10 aircrew
Sensors and
processing systems:
Before modernization:
After modernization:
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
Before modernization:
After modernization:
Armor: Steel and aluminum
Aircraft carried: Eurocopter Panther
Aviation facilities: Helipad and helicopter hangar

Sa'ar 5 (Hebrew: סער 5‎) is a class of Israeli Navy corvettes, 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.[2]

The first of class, INS Eilat, was launched in February 1993, followed by INS Lahav in August 1993 and INS Hanit in March 1994.

Combat history[edit]

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.[3] Four IDF sailors were killed.

IAF Eurocopter AS565, the type of helicopter used on the Sa'ar 5 class

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.[4][5]

In August 2009, the INS Eilat and INS Hanit passed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, along with a Dolphin class submarine. The move was seen as a possible warning to Iran.[6]

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:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Barak Gets Bigger And Better". Strategy World. 2013-08-07. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  2. ^ "21st CENTURY FRIGATES TODAY". Retrieved 2012-11-20. 
  3. ^ "Strike on Israeli Navy Ship". NAVSEA. 2006-07-19. 
  4. ^ "Report: Ship crew didn't realize missile threat - Israel News, Ynetnews". 2006-07-14. Retrieved 2012-11-20. 
  5. ^ Amos Harel (November 9, 2006). "Missile attack on INS Spear: IDF probe faults navy, ship's crew". Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  6. ^ 2 IDF warships cross Suez to Red Sea - The Jerusalem Post - 14 July 2009

External links[edit]