Skip to comments.IDF considering interceptors for sea-based gas platforms
Posted on 04/09/2012 9:24:55 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
IDF considering interceptors for sea-based gas platforms
By YAAKOV KATZ
Fearing missiles, Navy seeking budget for 4 new vessels to improve defense coverage of Mediterranean Sea; Israel concerned Hezbollah will try to attack platforms.
The navy is particularly concerned about Syrias recent purchase of the Russian Yakhont anti-ship missile, which could be transferred to Hezbollah and used to target the gas rigs. Syria already tested the Yakhont in recent maneuvers. The weapon is said to be a sophisticated missile with a range of about 300 km.
Last February, the navy seized an Iranian arms ship whose cargo, Israel said, was destined for Islamic Jihad. The vessel was carrying six Iranian Nasr-1 radarguided anti-ship missiles.
The navy has yet to decide which type of missile defense system it would deploy on the gas rigs, but the two options under consideration are Davids Sling, which Israel is developing for use against medium-range rockets and cruise missiles, as well as the Barak-8, which protects large navy vessels against anti-ship missiles.
The navy has already increased its patrols in the Mediterranean and is also using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to increase the range of its surveillance. It currently operates Israel Aerospace Industriess Heron UAV, which comes with a special electro-optic payload for maritime operations.
Until now, the navy has focused on protecting Israels sea lines of communication (SLOC), which span the length of the Mediterranean and around the Magreb region of North Africa. Some 99 percent of all goods arriving in the country come by sea, including security-related supplies and military hardware.
The area we will need to protect at sea will significantly increase with the construction of the new gas rigs, a senior naval officer said.
We are also very concerned with the military buildup in the region, which is seeing an increase in sophisticated weapons systems like anti-ship missiles.
In addition, the navy is in talks with the Defense Ministry about the need for four new vessels to more effectively cover its new area of operations. It is seeking a larger platform than the Saar 5-class corvettes it operates.
The vessel will have to accommodate an advanced radar system, a helicopter and a launch system capable of firing long-range air defense and surface-to-surface missiles.
The navy has also informed the energy companies that it will need to install radars on the gas rigs, and the government is considering ordering the companies to help finance some of the cost.
In February, the Defense Ministry and navy ordered the Israel Electric Corporation to bolster security around a natural gas buoy that is being built off the coast of Hadera. The buoy will enable Israel to import natural gas in place of Egyptian gas, which has come to a near standstill since the revolution in Egypt last year.
If Syria doesn't get out of the terror business, I sense a fulfillment of Isaiah 17 in their near term future. I wouldn't want the God of the universe PO'ed at ME for abusing HIS children....
If lets say something were to happen away from Lebanon that would make Assad fear overthrow, he would bring operatives in from Lebanon to help save his sorry arse I would think.
Assuming that the Israelis have figured out where exactly the missiles are situated, they would ‘effort’ a solution to the Yakhont problem, probably a loud one.
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