Fast Attack Vessel

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Sa'ar 4


Sa'ar 4.5

Sa'ar 62 OPV



Fast Attack Vessel

General Information

Sa’ar boats are a series of missile boats.

Sa’ar 4, of the earlier versions, was built based on Israeli Navy designs in the early 70’s by Israeli Shipyards, as was the following 4.5.

In 2010 Israel Shipyards started developing the Sa’ar 72 Mini-Corvette,[1] “The Navy’s new warship has been unveiled”, mako, 20.5.2013 [Hebrew] officially introduced at IMDEX Asia 2013. The Sa’ar 72-class fits both the categories of Corvette and Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) carrying different weapons (IAI’s Barak 8 type missiles, various anti-ship missiles and a naval gun) and including a helipad, a hangar for storing a helicopter and UAVs, an IAI Elta EL/M-2258 ALPHA naval radar, as well as equipment for rescue operations.[2]Tamir Eshel, “Israel Shipyards Introduces the SAAR 72 Mini-Corvette Design”, Defense Update, 16.5.2013

Based on the Sa’ar 4.5-class and since 2014 Israel Shipyards developed OPVs of different lengths, which can be equipped with weapons systems (45.70, 58 and 62 meters).[3]Israel Shipyards website

In 1974, a contract was signed between Israel and Apartheid South Africa leading to a sale of three Sa’ar 4 boats and to joint manufacturing of 6 more for the Apartheid Navy. The South African variants were fitted with Gabriel missiles as well. In 1979 and 1980 three of the boats were sold to Pinochet’s Chile – also armed with Gabriel missiles.

Sa’ar-class missile boats and OPVs have been exported to several navies, including: Chile, South Africa, Greece, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Cote d’Ivoire, Sri Lanka and Mexico.

Variations: Sa’ar 5, Sa’ar 4.5 (subclasses: Hetz and Aliya),  Sa’ar 62 OPV, Sa’ar S-72.

Sa’ar-class 5 and 6 are manufactured in Germany according to Israeli design (Northrop Grumman, 1993 and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, 2019 accordingly).

Sa’ar 4.5, Israeli Navy

Use by Israeli Forces

The Sa’ar 4 was first operational use by Israeli Navy in the Yom-Kippur War in 1973. Was used for operations in the Red Sea, were used in the first Lebanon war in 1982 firing missiles to the Lebanese Coast.  Not operational anymore in the Israeli Navy.

As of 2019, eight Sa’ar 4.5 boats are in service in the Israeli Navy. The boats patrol off the shore of Gaza take an active role in implementing the siege on Gaza. They were operated during the Gaza wars – Cast Lead (2008-2009) Pillar of Defense (2012), Protective Edge (2014) – shooting missiles on targets on the coast of Gaza. Saar-4.5 boats took part in the take-over of the Gaza flotilla in 2011 (The Marmara Incident), leading to the killing of 13 of the flotilla’s passengers.