saar 6 corvette
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How Israel stuffed Kolkata-class weapons into 2,000-ton hull corvette


Israel recently received the last of the four Sa’ar 6 frigates previously ordered from Germany. The Israel Defense Forces described this frigate as the core of its navy’s “defensive wall” and a “key pillar” for protecting Israel’s seas and offshore energy assets.

In May 2015, Israel and Germany formally signed an order for four Saar-6 frigates with a total price of 420 million euros. This arms purchase got a subsidy of 110 million euros from the German National Free Assistance (DcSH). Therefore, Israel spent 310 million euros. Bought four hulls without weapons and radars. All four ships were launched at the German naval shipyard in Kiel and then transferred to the Kilworth shipyard to continue construction. In April 2018, the Israel Defense Forces announced the names of the four Sa’ar 6 ships.

Saar 6 frigates without any armaments
Saar 6 frigates without any armaments

The hull design of the Saar-6 light frigate is purely German, based on the MEKO-A90 foreign trade frigate. This class is 90 meters long, 13.2 meters wide, and 21.5 meters high. The standard displacement is 2000 tons, and the full load displacement is 2200 tons. The power system adopts the diesel-diesel combined power system (CODAD) with enhanced power generation, and two sets of 9924 horsepower each are installed. The German MTU20V1163TB93 diesel engine has a maximum speed of 26 knots (24 knots in one case). It can carry fuel and supplies for 10 days at sea. It has a maximum range of 2500 nautical miles.

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

 

Although the Sa’ar 6 corvette has a displacement of only 2,000 tons, its electronic equipment and weapons are all ultra-luxury. It is no exaggeration to say that the equipment of the Indian Kolkata-class destroyer was forcibly stuffed into the small hull. You must know that the Kolkata-class destroyer is fully loaded with 7,500 tons of Large ships, Imagine the dense loading rate in Saar 6 Corvette by Israel, no one would dare to do this in first place.

kolkata class destroyer
kolkata class destroyer

Sensors and Processing

About 90% of the systems and equipment of the Saar-6 are designed and developed by Israeli military companies. In terms of electronic equipment, the ship is equipped with a three-sided MF-STAR AESA radar. The S-band radar greatly optimizes the combination of T/R modules and the back-end equipment, greatly reducing the weight. The four-sided array weighs 6 tons (Used in kolkata class destroyer), has a horizontal 360-degree detection, and a pitch detection capability of -20 degrees to +85 degrees. Search for fighter targets within 250 kilometers, search for high-altitude rockets within 100 kilometers, can automatically lock sea-skimming anti-ship missiles within 25 kilometers, can detect and track hundreds of air targets at the same time, and even detect ballistic missiles in future upgradation.

MF-STAR AESA radar on Saar 6 frigate
MF-STAR AESA radar on Saar 6 frigate

On the top of the mainmast, the ship is equipped with a high-precision solid-state active phased array radar from  ELM-2258X band to the sea. It adopts multi-beam and pulse-Doppler technology. It has a range of 200 kilometers and has air and water surfaces. Target search, automatic threat warning, target classification and fire control, electronic countermeasures, low radar cross-section target interception capabilities.

ELM-2258 or “ALPHA” radar
ELM-2258 or “ALPHA” radar

The ship is also equipped with 2X4 sets of Elisra’s NS-9005 electronic warfare system, using high-power multi-beam array transmitters and DRFM technology, which can deal with up to 16 threat targets at the same time. Sweep frequency noise, range deception jamming, automatic gain deception jamming, and combined jamming and other technologies can cooperate with C-Gem carrier-based active decoys to jam the enemy’s incoming anti-ship missiles.

The ship has a high degree of integration and digitization. It is equipped with an open-architecture command system. After the information of the entire ship is summarized, the system is processed and displayed in the CIC. It has air situation acquisition, image drawing, target recognition, computational interception procedures, and control. The ability to deal with the effects of launch and interception can also assist the crew in decision-making. The ship can also be equipped with 11, 16, and 22 data communication link systems, which can be directly connected to the combat command center of the Israel Defense Forces.

Armament

The Saar-6 is also frantic. The naval guns are mainly a stealth-shaped “Otto Melera” 76mm ultra-fast naval gun on the bow (same as Kolkata class destroyer), and two 25mm machine guns mounted on the “Typhoon” remote control weapon station on both sides of the vertical lunch system. This remote control weapon The station also has 4 “spike” anti-tank missiles externally mounted, so it doesn’t hurt to hit small targets and land targets.

In air defense, it is equipped with a 32-unit “Barak-8” medium-range air defense missile vertical launch unit, which can intercept anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles, fighter aircraft, helicopters and UAV systems, etc. The missile is about 4.55m long and has a ballistic diameter. 0.277m, launch mass of about 280kg, flying speed of Mach 2, and range of 80 kilometers.

Barak-8 missile defence system
Barak-8 missile defence system

For low speed and low-value targets A set of 40-unit ship-borne “Iron Dome” short-range anti-aircraft missiles is installed on each side of the helicopter garage. Weeping, responsible for intercepting rockets.

Two 324 mm torpedo tubes capable of launching Mk54 light anti-submarine torpedoes are installed on the anti-submarine side. The anti-ship depends on the hull midship equipped with four groups of quadruple-mounted 16 anti-ship missiles, which is Gabriel V cruise missile with comprehensive combat capabilities.

This level of stacking reminds me of arsenal ships. The reason why they are installed so many is that they mainly fight in the Mediterranean, so they are mainly on the east coast of the Mediterranean. The sea depth is not large and the sea conditions are not complicated, so there is no need to consider the hull too much. Stability, sailing performance, and other factors.

Gabriel V anti ship missile
Gabriel V anti ship missile

The Saar-6 light protection has such a strong performance, and the reason for its construction is still profit. In recent years, huge amounts of petroleum gas resources have been discovered in the Levant Basin offshore Israel. By 2020, 75% of Israel’s domestic electricity generation is provided by natural gas drilled in Israeli waters. Therefore, the resources of Israel’s marine economic zone have become one of the cores of Israel’s energy security.

The Saar-6 frigates iss packed with anti-aircraft firepower far exceeding specifications, and at the same time, it also took care of protecting Israel’s cargo channel in the Mediterranean. It is quite impressive how Israel put so must things in 2000 tons of ship, When the Saar-6 enters service, it will be assigned to the Haifa Naval Port on the east Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Ashdod Naval Port on the east Mediterranean Sea to the center and the Eilat Naval Port on the Red Sea to the south to perform tasks. Build a stronger shield


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