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Israeli Navy's Reshef class to carry C-Dome air-defence system

A computer-generated image of the Reshef class that Israel Shipyards released in November 2019. (Israel Shipyards)

The Reshef-class vessel that will replace the Israeli Navy's Sa'ar 4.5 (Nirit) missile ships will be equipped with Rafael's C-Dome air-defence system, Captain Y (full name withheld), the head of the Naval Vessels Department, told Janes on 24 October.

Israel Shipyards announced on 26 August that it had signed an agreement with the Israeli Ministry of Defense to begin detailed design work for the Reshef class, which will be based on its S-72 design. However, it provided no details of the weapons and systems that the navy wants the new ships to carry.

The design phase is expected to be completed in approximately two years, with the first Reshef likely to take another two to four years to construct, Cpt Y said. Eight will eventually be built, with each replacing a Sa'ar 4.5 when it is commissioned.

“The Sa'ar 4.5 ships have been in service for 30 years,” he said. “For vessels this size, it is very impressive for the ship to hold on for this long. Now we must prepare for its replacement.”

Some of the equipment that has been fitted to the Sa'ar 4.5s as part of recent upgrades is expected to be transferred to their replacements. “In some cases, we can introduce advanced systems that do not exist onboard the Nirits, and in others, where the systems are still relevant, we will use them on the new ships,” said Cpt Y. “The biggest costs will involve installing new weapons that do not exist onboard the Nirit.”

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