Saturday, January 30, 2010

Israel Turns to Germany for Naval Stealth Ships

Israel is interested in acquiring two corvette size ships to extend its naval operational capabilities. After analyzing the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Israel decided these vessels would be too costly. While each LCS would have cost $480, Israel was prepared to spend up to $300 per ship, which roughly corresponds with what the Malaysian Navy spent on a similar design (MEKO A-100 Kedah class). Yet, an obstacle that could hinder the potential sale is the recent acquisition of Blohm + Voss Shipyards - the shipbuilder of the MEKO Class vessels - by the Abu Dhabi MAR Group of the United Arab Emirates.

Israel already deploys three medium size Saar V Eilat class corvettes, slated for an upgrade by 2011. The modernization will include the introduction of a new phased-array radar system and the replacement of current point defense missile systems with the Barak 8 extended air defense system. Fielding such new networked air defense capability will provide the Israeli surface fleet independence of air-cover for the first time, enabling the Israeli vessels to deploy further away from their shores......................................Defense-Update


Though German MEKO's ("Mehrzweck-Kombination," multi-purpose-combination in English) superstructure is far less discrete than Swedish Visby or French La Fayette, the cost, volume and modularity of the MEKO win the game. MEKO ships include families of frigates, corvettes and ocean-going patrol boats; it's essentially a scalable naval design.

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