The Israeli Ministry of Defense announced Monday
that it has signed a contract for four Sa'ar-class corvettes, manufactured by Germany's TKMS. Discussions between the two countries over the supply of Littoral Combat Ships to protect Israel's offshore gas reserves have been in the works since 2009, with the Germans agreeing to a discount in October last year
, with the German government further subsidizing the deal, funding approximately a quarter of the contract's value. The $480 million deal will see TKMS buying
$181 million-worth of Israeli-manufactured equipment as offsets. Whilst the Israeli MoD did not announce the precise type of corvette the Israeli Navy will receive, it is likely to be the Blohm Voss-class 130 corvette
, with modification to Israeli specifications.
The USA is Israel’s logical supplier, but given Israel’s size and cost requirements, the only American option was the Littoral Combat Ship. Israel pursued that option for several years, conducting studies and trying to get a better sense of feasibility and costs. Their approach would have been very different from the American Freedom Class LCS, removing the swappable “mission modules” and replacing them with a fixed and fully capable set of air defense, anti-ship, and anti-submarine weapons. In the end, however, the project was deemed to be unaffordable. Instead, Israel began negotiating with Germany, and reports now include discussions involving both South Korea, and a local shipyard.
Continue Reading… »