DESIGNED FOR SPEED AND OFFSHORE SECURITY
Asian Military Review|February/March 2021
Coastal and fast patrol craft are being increasingly used to protect coastlines and offshore economic assets. Armada talked to Israeli Shipyards' Oded Brier about recent and future developments.
Andrew Drwiega

Israel Shipyards (ISL) has a built a reputation for designing and manufacturing fast attack craft and offshore patrol vessels. At the end of 2019 it was engaged by Israel’s Ministry of Defence to design a new advanced combat vessel, the Reshef-class based on the S-72 design, to replace its existing SA’AR 4.5 fast attack missile corvettes. However, in November its flexibility was also proved when the Israel MOD and the Israeli Navy requested ISL to supply of a floating dock and maintenance for 10 years.

Initially established as part of the Israeli Government’s defence base, it was privatised in 1995 and is now managed by ex-naval officers. It has been in business by the side of Haifa Bay since 1959, celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2019. It is on a 330,000 square metres site by the coastline and within the site has up to 45,000 square metres of internal space. Infrastructure includes long deep water docks and a floating dock for repair and maintenance.

The first vessels that it built were SAAR 4 fast attack craft for the Israeli Navy in 1960. The modern day equivalent is the Shaldag fast patrol craft which is capable of speeds up to 50 knots, and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) that can travel at 24kts. These OPVs can be specified to lengths of 45m, 58m or 62m.

In July 2020 the shipyard announced a contract to supply an West African country with two OPV 45s complete with ongoing support, training and a maintenance programme as part of its Logistic Support (ILS) services. The vessels will feature day/night observation systems and a stabilised weapon systems.

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