Mindful of Iranian Threat, Israeli Navy Tests Next Generation Anti-Ship Missile System
Israel’s Navy on Wednesday announced the “successful” completion of a “complex” test of the Gabriel V, its advanced long-range anti-ship missile system, tailored to protect the country’s strategic maritime assets.
“The ‘Gabriel V’ anti-ship missile system will strengthen the Israeli Navy’s operational and defensive capabilities in the maritime arena and in a wide array of additional arenas and objectives,” stated Guy Goldfarb, Deputy Commander in Chief of the Israeli Navy. “The Israeli Navy believes in preserving freedom of navigation and defending the maritime arena, the Exclusive Economic Zone and the strategic assets of the State of Israel.”
Israel has in recent weeks been building up deterrence against the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization as its head, Hassan Nasrallah, has escalated threats to attack Israeli targets in the disputed Karish gas field in the Mediterranean unless an agreement delineating the Israel-Lebanon maritime boundary is reached.
Lebanon is insisting that the Karish field is in disputed waters, while Israel maintains that it is firmly within its exclusive economic zone. Energean Plc, which holds the rights to Israel’s offshore Karish field, is expected to start extracting gas from the site in the coming weeks.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that the production of gas from the Karish rig is not dependent on the outcome of the negotiations and will start as planned without any delay.
The long-range anti-ship missile system, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and the Defense Ministry’s research and development division, can travel for hundreds of kilometers, in various naval and aerial conditions, and is deployed to foil and destroy a wide range of targets and threats, the IDF said in a statement.
The Israeli Navy, together with the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), last month completed the test as part of a series of trials to develop the Navy’s new Saar 6-class corvettes on which the missiles are deployed.
“This technologically and operationally groundbreaking system will enable the Israeli Navy to continue maintaining naval superiority,” according to the Head of the “Meteor” Department in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development.
“The strategic depth and maritime superiority provided by the Israeli Navy to the State of Israel derives from technological innovation and developing and training soldiers who work to achieve operational successes,” commented Goldfarb.