Israel Successfully Tests Gabriel 5 Naval Missile System

By ARIE EGOZI

Missiles

Tel Aviv: The Israeli navy together with the Israel Defence Forces and Israel Aerospace Industries(IAI) successfully performed a complex test of the ‘Gabriel 5’ type naval missile system. This test is another milestone in the process of deploying the missile on the new SA’AR 6 corvettes of the Israeli navy.

Some years ago, Finland had selected the missile after a competition involving Boeing’s Harpoon, Kongsberg’s NSM, MBDA’s Exocet and Saab’s RBS15.

Gabriel 5 is an advanced long-range sea-sea missile system, capable of flying for hundreds of kilometres, in varying sea and air conditions. The missile’s impact enables the thwarting and destruction of a wide variety of targets.

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According to the Missile Threat website, the Mk 5 is the latest known Gabriel variant and is also called the ‘Advanced Surface Attack Missile’ (ASAM). An additional report in 2009 claimed that another variant of the Mk 5 was in development called the Advanced Naval Attack Missile. This version is to be ship-launched and have an active radar seeker and a two-way datalink with a range of 150 km. Finland purchased this variant of the Gabriel missile for its Hamina-class and Squadron 2020-class ships.

According to reports, the missile is optimized with more advanced seeker technology to operate in cluttered or congested littoral environments.

The Israeli navy has added more advanced systems to enhance the capability of its new SA’AR 6 corvettes to perform more versatile missions in the Mediterranean and in other seas and oceans. The Gabriel 5 is one of these systems.

The SA’AR 6 corvettes built in Germany for the Israeli navy, carry a combined air defence system, comprised of the Barak -8 and the C-Dome. The navy says that the use of both systems will be defined by the threat. The SA’AR 6 corvettes are mainly built to protect the Israel EEZ that includes the huge gas reservoirs in the Mediterranean. These are very high in the target bank of the Hezbollah in Lebanon.