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Israeli Navy: Patrol Boat Squadrons

Israel's fleet of patrol boats are used primarily for securing the country's coastline.

The Navy's first patrol boat squadrons used Dabur ("hornet") class boats that Israel created at the end of the 1970's. During the Yom Kippur War, the Dabur patrol boats prevented the Egyptian attack in the Red Sea area. They attacked Egyptian enemy moorings and destroyed many speed boats and rubber dinghies with Egyptian commandos who were ready to advance on Israeli targets.

During the 1980's, Israel decided upgrade the performance of the Dabur boat and a number of renovations were introduced which significantly improved maneuverability. During the 1980's, Dabur crews succeeded in overcoming dozens of terrorist infiltration attempts via the sea, and have succeeded in sinking numerous terrorist boats.

In 1988, the Dvora-class was added to the Dabur fleet. Manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries, the Dvora's construction was based on the Dabur but it measured almost 2 meters longer and could sail at a speed of 37 knots.

In 2004, the Navy commissioned the building of three new, Israeli-made Super Dvora Mk-III fast patrol ships to replace the Dabur crafts, which at tha time had been in service for more than 30 years.

The new Super Dvora boats - manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries' - are 27 meters long, have a range of 750 nautical miles, can remain at sea for 96 hours without resupply and boast a top speed of 50 knots, making them the fastest interdiction ships in the navy's fleet. The vessel is also armed with a remote-controlled Typhoon 25-mm cannon mounted on its hull and more weapons on its stern and bridge.

Sources: Israel Defense Forces; Jerusalem Post (November 18, 2004)