Report: Hezbollah Rocket Threat Prompts Israeli Navy to Add Extra Defenses

Sa'ar 5 a class of Israeli Navy corvettes leaves a military port in the northern Mediterranean coastal city of Haifa, on May 14, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Defense News reports:  TEL AVIV – In response to the growing rocket threat to Israel’s offshore energy assets, the Israel Navy is tweaking the design of its new Sa’ar-6 corvettes now under contract in Germany to make room for twice as many Iron Dome interceptors as originally planned.

In an interview at Navy headquarters in Tel Aviv, a senior officer said growing quantities of 122mm Grad-type rockets and longer-range projectiles in the arsenals of Lebanon-based Hizbollah has prompted the Navy to rethink early requirements, which called for a single Iron Dome launcher to be integrated into each of the four ships now under contract with Kiel, Germany-based ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

“Because of this growing threat, we’re adding another [Iron Dome] launcher on the Sa’ar-6,” the officer said of the new, 1800-ton displacement versions of the Blohm+Voss Class 130 corvette selected by Israel for defense of offshore assets in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

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