TKMS cuts steel for first Israeli Sa’ar 6-class corvette

Construction of a new class of Israeli Navy corvettes started in Germany on February 7, with a steel-cutting ceremony at the Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems shipyard in Kiel.

The high profile ceremony was attended by the head of the Israeli Navy, Admiral Eli Sharvit, and German Navy inspector Vice-admiral Andreas Krause.

The steel cutting ceremony marked the start of construction of four new Sa’ar 6-class corvettes which will help the Israeli Navy safeguard Israel’s offshore platforms in the Mediterranean Sea. The contract for their construction was signed in May 2015.

The corvettes are loosely based on Germany’s Braunschweig-class (K130) corvettes with improved stealth features.

Measuring 90 meters in length and displacing around 2,000 tons, the Sa’ar 6-class corvettes will be fitted with Israeli-developed armament and radars. According to media reports, the corvettes are set to receive a Israel Aerospace Industries-built AESA radar which will control the Barak 8 surface to air missile system.

The corvettes were initially scheduled to be fitted with a single Rapfael-built C-Dome naval point defense system but according to a Defense News report, the corvettes are now likely to carry two Iron Dome launchers to counter the threat from Hezbollah’s shore-launched rockets.

Sa’ar 6 ships will additionally have a 76mm naval gun, torpedo launchers and remote weapon stations.

The first corvette is scheduled to be delivered to Israel in late 2019 with others following in six-month intervals.

A video shared by the Israeli Navy ahead of the steel-cutting ceremony illustrates the design and armament of Sa’ar 6 corvettes.