Israeli Navy Ship (INS), Hetz/Nirit class Sa'ar 4. 5 is a missile boat launched sometime in 1991. The Hetz - and its ilk - are designed for multiple missions: patrolling "brown waters" near coastlines and operating in "dark blue" waters further afield.
Hetz performs Coast Guard duties and can sometimes be called upon as a picket boat for destroyer escort missions, expanding the missile defense screen that covers Israel's coast to defend against enemy missiles, aircraft or surface warships.
Originally, the Hetz Sa'ar class missile boat was called the 4.5 INS Nirit. The first two - Aliya and Geula - will have a helipad and hangar on the quarter deck. They have been renamed to the INS Aliya class.
Compatible helicopters include Sikorsky HH-65, Bell 206, Hughes MD 500 and the latest Eurocopter Panther. In 2006, both "helicopters" were sold to Mexico.
Nirit was last launched after entering service in 1991 and received advanced equipment and was renamed INS Hetz. Subsequently, Romach and Keshet were upgraded to the Hetz standard, and the Israeli Navy named Hetz the first of its kind.
Two other missile boats were upgraded to the Hetz Sa'ar 4.5 class, the INS Sufa was launched in 2002, followed by the INS Herev in 2003.
Equipped with three types of missile systems - Barak, Gabriel II and American-made Harpoon - Hetz can support a layered defense approach, allowing operators to select the right weapon for the task at hand. With the exception of the Harpoon, the other two defense systems were entirely of Israeli design. The Gabriel II is a short-to-medium anti-ship missile system with a range of up to 36 kilometers, with six such launchers on board.
The Barak is a 10-kilometer short-range air defense and surface ship suppression system, and Hetz has two such launchers mounted on its front. Boeing's Harpoon missile system completes the triad and is a proven long-range surface-to-surface anti-ship missile. Hetz carries two Harpoon batteries with four launchers, each with a maximum range of 130 kilometers.
For close encounters, the weapon kit includes the Vulcan Phalanx Mk 15 25mm CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) or the standard OTO Melara 3 76mm main gun. Airborne fire control for the CIWS missile system and 25mm gun is commanded by Thales Neptune mid-air/ground search radar and Elta EL/M-2221 fire control radar.
The ship is also equipped with the electronic warfare system and Elbit missile system found in the Elisra NS-9003A/9005 RWR as a final layer of defense.
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
- direct attack
202.3 ft (61.66 m)
9 feet (2.74 m)
34 kn (39 mph)
4,799 nautical miles (5,523 mi; 8,888 km)
8 x Harpoon surface-to-surface long-range anti-ship missiles.
6 x Gabriel II medium and short-range surface-to-surface missiles.
4 x Barak surface-to-air defense short-range missile systems.
2 x 76mm OTO Melara Guns or 2 x Vulcan Phalanx Mk 15 25mm CIWS.
2 x 20mm Typhoon anti-aircraft guns
4 x chaff dispensers
4 x Smoke Dispensers