At the Pascagoula Shipyard in Mississippi on Tuesday, the delivery and Israeli flag-raising ceremony of the INS Nahshon landing craft, the first of two platforms to be received by the Israeli Navy, was held. The ceremony was led by the Commanding Officer of Haifa Naval Base, RDML. Tal Politis and senior officials in the Ministry of Defense procurement delegation.

The landing craft is a powerful combat vessel that enables sailing to distant arenas. Its length is approximately 95 meters, its width is approximately 20 meters, and its displacement exceeds 2500 tons. The team of the landing craft consists of dozens of combat sailors, with a quarter of them being female. The vessel's commanding officer is at the rank of Lieutenant Commander (LCdr.).

The IDF says the landing crafts will act as a central pillar in adapting the Israeli Navy to the modern and multi-arena battlefield. Among other things, the landing crafts will serve as a logistical axis for transporting equipment as well as troops to locations near and far.

Moreover, the landing crafts will enable the strengthening of the high-quality cooperation between the various units in the Israeli Navy, the Technological and Logistics Directorate (J4), and the other IDF branches to strengthen the joint operational activity and putting the multi-branch combat effort into action in routine and contingency situations.

The INS Nahshon
The INS NahshonIDF Spokesperson

The joint construction project by the IDF and the Ministry of Defense of the INS Nahshon landing craft’s platform began about four years ago. The project began when they were purchased by the procurement delegation of the Ministry of Defense with financing from the US government.

The delivery and Israeli flag-raising ceremony marks a significant milestone in the process of their operational integration into the Israeli Navy from the US Shipyard.

The INS Nahshon landing craft will now begin the final preparations phase, which includes crew training and operational certification tests - when, in a few months, the landing craft will set sail and arrive at its home port in Israel. In the year 2024, the landing craft is set to be declared an operational vessel.

Commander in Chief of the Israeli Navy, VAdm. David Saar Salama wrote a letter to the first team of INS Nahshon stating: "You have a great privilege today, writing a chapter in the history of the Israeli Navy. Like the name of your ship - Nahshonim, you are the pioneers of the way, the first to jump into the water and carve a new path in the heart of the seas.

You embarked on the journey of building a ship, far from the ports at home and far from family, and managed to turn a dream into reality. With wonderful cohesion, dedication, and professionalism in a wonderful partnership that crosses times, people, and countries - you lead the Navy to new horizons, to horizons of influence and determination."

Commander of the 921st Fleet, Cdr. A., wrote: "An exciting time and a historical date in which the Israeli Navy renews a professional field and a long-standing combat soldiers tradition. INS Nahshon, which represents pioneering and courage, as well as its first team, will put new life into historical ability and endless professional possibilities to the Israeli Navy and the IDF.”

The Head of the IMOD SIBAT Directorate, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Michel Ben Baruch stated: ”The delivery of the landing craft to the Israeli Navy is one of a series of force-building programs being carried out in the US for the IDF. The program is by the Israeli Defense Ministry’s procurement delegation in New York, using the Foreign Military Funding that the US government provides to the State of Israel.”