Iron Dome in the Sea
Advanced missile boat 'Achi Magen' arrives in Israel

Powerful radar, helicopter landing pad and naval Iron Dome: Meet Israel's new 'Sa'ar 6' intended for protecting Israel's economic assets.

Tags: Ship Oil Rigs
Kobi Finkler ,

Sa'ar 6 - Achi Magen
Sa'ar 6 - Achi Magen
IDF spokesperson

At the end of a long process of construction and preparations in Germany, on Wednesday of next week the new "Sa'ar 6" will raise its blue-and-white flag and officially pass into the hands of the Israeli Navy. From there, its "stylists" will get underway preparing it for its homecoming journey, at the end of which the ship will arrive at its new home - the Haifa base.

The Achi Magen missile ship is one of four new "Sa'ar 6" vessels, whose purpose will be to protect Israel's newly-attained gas rigs, which happen to be twice the size of the entire country.

Sa'ar 6
IDF spokesperson

Today, 70% of the country's electricity output is produced by gas rigs, with these numbers increasing on a yearly basis. "These assets are essential to the functional continuity of the State of Israel, and the ability to protect them is critical," explained the commanding officer of Israel's Navy, Major General Eliyahu Sharvit.

Apart from the gas rigs, 98% of all goods imported to Israel arrive via marital routes, so the "Sa'ar" missile boats will ensure the safety of the country's economy while protecting shipping lanes for merchant vessels.

The Sa'ars in numbers:

Ship weight - approximately 2,000 tons.

Length - 90 meters.

Will serve approximately 80 crew staff.

Features 100 beds.

Expected to sail about 2000 sea hours a year, for over 30 years.

Combines over 90% of the IDF's combat systems.

Construction of the ship took about 14 months (from the beginning of construction until its launch).

סער 6 - אח"י מגן
צילום: דובר צה"ל

Many options arose at the top of the sea arm regarding possible solutions to the growing threat, until they reached a decision. "The best way to protect this space and the properties in it is ships, and the '6th storms' are an excellent and accurate answer to the operational need," emphasizes Maj. Gen. Sharvit.

The "Sa'ar 6's" were specially designed for the task of protecting the gas rigs and maritime trade routes – every detail from the ship's structure to its radars and weapon systems were drawn up with this purpose in mind. It will include improved systems and means for detecting and monitoring targets, which will enable the construction of a broader image of threats and defense systems, including technology used for intercepting CCTV missiles and long-range capability employing sophisticated sea-to-sea missiles.

Sa'ar 6
IDF spokesperson

In addition, the "Sa'ar 6" can remain at sea for longer periods of time than regular missile ships, cover larger areas, maintain contact with all units of the army and provide landing space for medium-sized helicopters.

In order to realize the ambitious vision, in 2015 three Israeli engineers took off for Germany to take part in the ship's design. In 2017, after overcoming many obstacles and with the current model finalized, construction began on the new model.

Germany participated extensively in the building and design of the new ship, with many of its naval departments taking part in construction of the vessels, and the missile ship's team flown in to participate in deep analysis of the ship's design and operational systems. Next week, three years to the project's inauguration, the vessel will officially pass into the trustworthy hands of the IDF.

Sa'ar 6
IDF spokesperson

The Achi Magen missile boat is slated to enter the operational field once all combat systems are installed, with 90% of these produced in Israel. The process will take about a year and a half, during with all work aboard the vessel is coordinated by navy brass.

"After completing the process of installing the combat systems, the Achi Magen vessels will enter full operational service in the navy and lead the defense of state waters as well as Israel's strategic assets at sea," said Maj. Gen. Sharvit.