According to information published by the Israel Defence Forces on November 2, 2023, the Israeli Navy has deployed a Sa’ar 5-class corvette in the Red Sea amid growing tensions in the region.
The Sa’ar 5-class corvette is equipped with various armaments, including Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Barak surface-to-air missiles. It also features a 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) and 25mm Typhoon Weapon Stations for defensive purposes. These systems are designed to provide the corvette with capabilities to both attack and defend against potential threats.
In terms of electronic warfare, the Sa’ar 5-class is outfitted with systems capable of engaging in activities such as radar detection, jamming, and countermeasures. It also employs decoys like the AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed torpedo decoy system to enhance its evasion capabilities.
The corvette’s design allows for a top speed of 33 knots, facilitated by a combined diesel or gas propulsion system. This speed and the vessel’s maneuverability are significant in the Red Sea’s maritime environment. Additionally, the Sa’ar 5-class is equipped with advanced radar and sonar systems, enabling it to perform surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The corvette also has the capacity to accommodate a helicopter, which extends its operational range and capabilities, allowing for tasks such as enhanced surveillance, rapid deployment of forces, and maritime patrol.
On October 31, 2023, Yemen’s Houthi movement launched missiles and drones at Israel, provoking fears of a dangerous escalation in the Middle East conflict. The Houthi group, also known as Ansar Allah, is an armed militia of the Zaydi Shia in Yemen. They ousted Yemen’s transitional government in a 2014 coup and have since been engaged in a civil war with the ousted administration, which is backed by Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis’ attack on Israel can be seen as showcasing both the Houthis’ and Iran’s military capabilities to both local and regional audiences. Tehran is believed to have supplied the Houthis with missiles to pose a threat to Israel.