The Israeli Navy plans to buy new Super Dvora Mk-III fast patrol craft to boost counter-terror and interdiction missions in coastal waters along its northern border with Lebanon.
Built by the Ramta division of state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), the Mk-III craft will join at least six Mk-III boats purchased in late 2004 and deployed primarily in Israel’s southern Mediterranean waters near the Gaza Strip. Once inducted into the Israeli Navy inventory, the newer-model patrol craft will replace or supplement Mk-I and Mk-II patrol craft now deployed in Israel’s northern theater.
The pending procurement is one of the efficiency measures undertaken by the Israeli Navy through retirement of older Sa’ar 4 warships in exchange for smaller and more operationally cost-effective patrol craft, according to the post on Israel Defense Forces (IDF) website.
A commander identified only by his rank — lieutenant colonel — and first initial was quoted by the IDF website as saying Super Dvora operators are charged with patrolling coastal waters, identifying all irregular events and arriving at suspected sites “within mere minutes.” He described the new patrol craft planned for deployment along the Israel-Lebanon sea border as “a force multiplier.”
According to IAI, the Super Dvora Mk-III measures 27.4 meters long, some 5.74 meters across with displacements ranging from 58 to 72 tons. Powered by two US-built diesel engines, the patrol craft are designed to operate in very shallow waters for breaching operations by naval commandos, to offload medical or humanitarian supplies and to evacuate injured persons.