Israel’s navy on Wednesday welcomed the first of four German-made war-ships that will be at the forefront of the country’s attempts to protect its coastal borders and increasing natural-gas production.
The first missile boat of “Project Magen” arrived at Israel’s Haifa port, with three more of these war-ships expected to come over the next two years.
“The Israel Navy has shown it can start, prepare, manage and execute a serious power build-up arrangements for the long term that will explain the position of Israel’s imperative requirements — from advancing our naval supremacy in the region to preserving the gas supplies and defending the trade and import routes to Israel,” President Reuven Rivlin spoke the welcoming ceremony.
The vessels, usually identified as the “Saar 6,” will direct Israeli endeavours to defend its 200-mile (320-kilometre) independent economic zone. The original gas industry, recognised as a national asset, is at the centre of those purposes.
Over a decade after finding sizeable reserves off its Mediterranean coast, Israel now produces some 60% of its power from natural gas, according to the general electric company, and has started to transport gas to its Arab neighbours Jordan and Egypt.
Israel is also seeking a plan with Greece and Cyprus in support of creating an Eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline to Europe.
With so much at stake, Lebanon’s terrorist Hezbollah group has identified Israeli gas connections as high-priority spots. Israel takes such warnings dangerously. During an over month-long battle in 2006, a Hezbollah cruise-missile blow on an Israeli “Saar 5” warship and killed four soldiers.
The new ships are to be outfitted with more unique and more robust radar and other automated systems and manage rough seas much better than their forerunners.
The 90-meter (295-foot) ships are provided with rocket and missile defence operations, anti-aircraft and anti-ship rockets, torpedoes and an upgraded launching pad for Israel’s most recent attack helicopters.
“There are one of the most exceptional war machines in the world, which models a notable leap forward in the Israeli army’s strength to guarantee our strength at sea and in maritime operations,” stated the military’s Chief, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi.
Israel accepted to buy the ships in a 2015 agreement valued at roughly 430 million euros ($480 million at the time), with the German government incorporating about one-quarter of the cost.