Israeli corvette gets counter-rocket capability | World Defense

Israeli corvette gets counter-rocket capability


Dec 5, 2014
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Israeli corvette gets counter-rocket capability
Yaakov Lappin, London - IHS Jane's Navy International
02 September 2015

INS Lahav with its new Elta EL/M-2248 MF-STAR radar. The vessel has yet to be fitted with the new Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles. Source: IDF

The Israeli Navy has configured the air defence system on board the Saar 5 corvette INS Lahav so that it can use its Barak 1 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to intercept rockets fired out to sea by militant groups.

A senior naval source made the revelation during a 2 September media briefing on board Lahav to discuss the ways the navy is working to defend offshore gas platforms, some of which are just 25 km from the coast of the Gaza Strip.

Although Gaza-based militants would have little hope of hitting an offshore platform with a single unguided rocket, the navy is concerned that they will launch barrages to increase their chances of damaging a rig.

"We could face large rocket salvos in the future," the source said. "If a rocket strikes a rig, even just one rocket, it will cause strategic damage. [Energy] companies will be scared away regardless of the damage."

The source said the navy had according made changes to the Elta EL/M 2248 MF-STAR radar that has been installed on Lahav so it can track rockets fired from the Gaza Strip and guide the ship's Barak 1 missiles to intercept them.

Known as the Barak Adir (Great Lightning) by the navy, the phased-array EL/M 2248 MF-STAR radar was fitted to Lahav as part of a recent upgrade and will be installed on the other two Saar 5 corvettes.

"We altered the system to be able to deal with smaller targets," the source said. "We created a more concentrated, lower detection area, and created new search algorithms," he said.

The system is now capable of tracking ballistic targets, plotting their trajectories, assessing whether they represent a threat, and tasking Barak 1 missiles to intercept them as required.

The Barak 1 is a command-guided missile that does not carry its own seeker, so is guided to its target by signals from the ship's fire control system until it is close enough to be detonated by a proximity fuze.

The sourced added that a rocket was successfully shot down by one of two Barak 1s fired from Lahav during a test in January; the second missile self-destructed after the successful intercept.

Lahav can now station itself near threatened offshore platforms during conflicts and defend them against incoming rocket barrages, as well as more conventional threats.

The source said other threats include long-range supersonic anti-ship missiles that are now in service with Hizbullah: an apparent reference to the Yakhont systems that Syria has transferred to the Lebanese group.
Israeli corvette gets counter-rocket capability - IHS Jane's 360