Israeli Navy To Acquire New Patrol Boats

(November 18, 2004)

The Israel Navy has commissioned three Israeli-made Super Dvora Mk-III fast patrol ships. They are to replace the venerable Dabur patrol craft that have been in service for 30 years. The ship's main role is to protect the coast and intercept terrorists. But they also have a range of 750 nautical miles and can remain at sea for 96 hours without resupply.

The Super Dvora Mk-IIIs are manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries' Ramta Division in Beersheba. The 27-meter-long craft boast a top speed of 50 knots, making them the fastest interdiction ships in the navy's fleet. Ramta delivered three of the ships to the navy in July 2004. They have been undergoing sea trials in the Mediterranean based in Ashdod Port. Another six are to be delivered with an option of five more. According to an IAI statement, the vessel is armed with a remote-controlled Typhoon 25-mm cannon mounted on its hull and more weapons on its stern and bridge.

The need for faster craft was one of the lessons learned following the 1989 terrorist raid on Nitzanim beach by the Palestine Liberation Front then led by Muhammad Abbas. Their speedboats were able to outrace the navy's, but they were eventually killed by helicopter gunships when they reached shore.

Source: Jerusalem Post, (November 18, 2004)