Israeli Navy’s first Sa’ar 6-class corvette was formally named INS Magen during a ceremony in Kiel, Germany on May 23.
The ship was named by Mrs. Eti Sharvit, wife of Vice Admiral Eli Sharvit, Chief of the Israeli Navy, in presence of high-level representatives from the Israeli Government and Navy as well as high-ranking German Navy officials.
The naming marks another important milestone in the ongoing program of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) as General Contractor to build four next-generation Sa’ar-6 class missile corvettes for the Israeli Navy.
Dr. Rolf Wirtz, CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems: “We are very proud to be contributing to Israel’s security. The corvettes are the most advanced and most sizeable vessels that ever served in the Israeli Navy. With the final fitting out being conducted by Israeli industry, the ships will also largely contribute to the country’s economy.”
The Sa’ar-6 class ships have the stealthy design of a low-signature missile corvette with tailor-made solutions and numerous new technologies on board.
The contract for the delivery of four Sa’ar-6 corvettes was signed in May 2015. The ships’ design will be loosely based on the German Navy’s Braunschweig-class corvettes, but with engineering changes to render the baseline platform more militarily robust.
All four vessels will be constructed in Germany in a joint project by German Naval Yards Holdings and thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). Construction cost is estimated at NIS 1.8 billion ($480 million). Israel will pay for two thirds of the cost and the German Government will subsidize a third of the corvettes’ construction costs, as with the Dolphin class submarines.
After the completion of the design phase, the construction phase started with the steel cutting ceremony of the first-of-class (INS Magen) in February 2018. Only 15 months after the first steel cut, the ship was undocked, fulfilling its very ambitious schedule. The INS Magen is planned to be delivered in spring 2020 after completion of construction and testing. The other three ships will follow subsequently in intervals of a few months.
The Sa’ar 6-class corvettes have a length of 90 m, beam of 13 m and a full-load displacement of around 1,900 tons. They have a hangar space and a flight deck able to accommodate a medium class SH-60-type helicopter.
The vessels is armed with an Oto Melara 76 mm main gun, two Typhoon Weapon Stations, 32 vertical launch cells for Barak-8 surface-to-air missiles, the C-Dome point defense system, 16 anti-ship missiles, the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR AESA radar, and two 324 mm torpedo launchers.
One of the role of the vessels will be to protect natural gas platforms in the Mediterranean sea against possible sea-borne or rocket threats.