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TKMS Cut 1st Steel of First Israeli Navy Saar 6 Corvette.

| 2018

The steel cutting ceremony for the first Saar 6 (Sa'ar 6) corvette ordered by Israel at the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) shipyard in Kiel, Germany on February 7, 2018. The low key ceremony (no media representatives were admitted) took place in presence of the chief of the Israeli Navy, Admiral Eli Sharvit, and German Navy inspector Vice-admiral Andreas Krause.

Israel Navy Saar 6 MEKO TKMS 1 infographics on the Saar 6

Speaking during the Israel Air Force ceremony on December 25th 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel ordered four new patrol vessels from Germany: "Today, I am pleased to announce that three days ago, we added an important component to our defensive force. We purchased four new Saar vessels from Germany". The Israeli Ministry of Defense completed in May 2015 the negotiations for purchase the vessels. The main goal of this new procurement is the protection of Israel's Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) where oil and gas production is booming in the sea off west coast of the country.

The cost of the construction is around 430 million euros of which 115 million euros is reportedly covered by the government of Germany. This is for the four vessels but the vessels only, without the cost of Israeli weapons and electronic equipment, which will be installed in Israel.  The first corvette should be transferred to the Israeli side at the end of 2019, and the fourth and last one at the end of 2021. All four ships are set to be incorporated into the Israeli Navy in 2020-2022 after the installation of Israeli armament and electronic equipment (however, less optimistic forecasts predict that the first ship will actually be commissioned not earlier than mid-end of 2021). The total cost of the program for the acquisition of these ships is estimated at $ 3 billion in Israel.

 Israeli Navy animation

The Saar 6 class was developed from the German MEKO A100 base (and variations for the German Navy K130 corvettes). The Saar 6 vessels will not just be "Patrol Vessels" as initially reported but rather powerful Corvettes with a displacement in excess of 2,000 tons and a length of 90 meters.The width of the class is 13.5 meters and its draft is more than 4 meters. Their maximum speed is 26 knots thanks to their diesel power plant and dual-shaft arrangement. The crew complement is about 70 sailors.

Saar 6 class corvettes will be heavily armed for their size: They are set to be fitted with:
- 32x VLS cells for Barak 8 surface to air missile system by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)
- 2x C-DOME naval point defense system launchers by Rafael (20x Tamir missiles in each launcher for a total of 40x per ship)
- 16x anti-ship missiles (Boeing Harpoon Block 2 or Israel's IAI Gabriel Mk 5)
- 1x 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid main gun
- 2x Typhoon 25mm remote weapon stations by Rafael (likely able to launch Spike-ER missiles as well)
- 2x 324mm torpedo launchers for MK54 Lightweight Torpedo by Raytheon

The main sensor system aboard the Saar 6 will be the MF-STAR multifunction AESA radar by IAI. Saar 6 corvettes will have hangar space and platform able to accommodate a medium class (SH-60 type) helicopter.

Our video coverage on C-Dome at IMDEX Asia 2017

About C-Dome
C-DOME is the naval variant of Iron Dome unveiled by Rafael at Euronaval 2014. C-DOME is a Naval Point Defense System from a ship VLS at sea.

Rafael's C-DOME is designed to effectively protect combat vessels against a large set of modern threats. C-Dome handles saturation attacks by engaging multiple targets simultaneously. Reaction time is very short and enables automatic and semi-automatic engagements. C-Dome components include a multi-round launcher assembly loaded with vertically-launched canisterised interceptors. The launcher is installed under the ship deck.

About Barak 8
According to Israel defense company IAI, Barak-8 is an advanced groundbreaking air and missile defense system that provides ultimate protection against a variety of aerial platforms, both land and naval scenarios. It is designed jointly with the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) in India and is used by the IDF and the Indian defense forces. The system includes an advanced Phased Array digital radar, command and control, vertical launchers and missiles carrying a highly advanced seeker.

The MF-STAR antenna includes four fixed faces of active arrays in S-band frequency, delivering a high-quality air and surface situation picture and weapon support – particularly in severely cluttered target, electronic, topographical and environmental conditions. With advanced technology and robust system architecture, the MF-STAR employs unique, proven multi-beam and pulse doppler techniques to extract low RCS targets from complex clutter and jamming environments.

Moreover, the MF-STAR radar can be easily scaled to fit different requirements and different ship sizes – from 1200-tonne corvettes to frigate/destroyers weighing 7000+ tons.

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