The Israeli Navy (Ḥeil HaYam HaYisraeli) INS Magen Sa’ar 6-class corvettes has begun her initial sea trials in Kiel, Germany on March 10. Kiel shipbuilders can build corvettes in record time. 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. Just two years and a month after construction began, the first of the four new corvettes of the Israeli Navy successfully passed its first test drive on the Baltic Sea. The first SA’AR-6 class corvette was named INS Magen in May 2019. German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) acts as General Contractor to build four corvettes of this class for the Israeli Navy.
The Sa’ar 6-class corvette is a class of four German-made warships ordered for the Israeli Navy in May 2015. The ships’ design will be loosely based on the German Braunschweig-class corvette, but with engineering changes to accommodating Israeli-built sensors and missiles such as the Barak 8 and the naval Iron Dome system. Elbit Systems has been awarded the contract to design and build the Electronic Warfare (EW) suites for the ships. The four corvettes were christened INS Magen, INS Oz, INS Independence and INS Victory in April 2018. The vessels are expected to be commissioned by the Israeli Navy between 2020 and 2022. The warships will be used to conduct patrol duties in Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to protect the country’s gas reserves, shipping lanes and other strategic assets in the Mediterranean.
The Sa’ar 6-class corvettes have a length of 90 m, a 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.Each ship will carry an Oto Melara 76 mm main gun, two Typhoon Weapon Stations, 40 Barak 8 naval surface-to-air missiles to intercept and destroy all types of airborne threats such as anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles, combat aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The ships will also be fitted with 16 anti-ship missiles such as Gabriel, RGM-84 Harpoon and RBS-15 Mk 3 to attack enemy ships and boats. The armament will also include two torpedo launchers for MK54 Lightweight Torpedo, and two 30mm Rafael Typhoon remote weapon stations.