Israel Upgrades Its Warships to Brace for Hezbollah Rockets

© AP Photo / Ariel SchalitIsraeli naval soldiers honor guard walks past a poster of a submarine as they wait for the arrival of a new navy submarine "Rahav" in the military port in Haifa, Israel, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016.
Israeli naval soldiers honor guard walks past a poster of a submarine as they wait for the arrival of a new navy submarine Rahav in the military port in Haifa, Israel, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The Israeli Navy will include extra “Iron Dome” missile launchers on its Sa’ar 6 missile ships being manufactured in Germany.

The four Sa’ar ships were designed to feature an iron dome missile launcher, but they will now have two iron dome pods each, the Jerusalem Post reported. Hezbollah has amassed a growing stockpile of rockets and long-range rounds that put some of Israel’s “offshore assets” within firing range.

"Because of this growing threat, we’re adding another [iron dome] launcher on the Sa’ar 6," an Israeli defense official told Defense News. Both cannons will be able to fire up to 20 Tamir interceptors, the official added. 

The iron domes are specifically designed for cheap, disruptive rockets Hezbollah could launch from Lebanon, Defense News added. Nonetheless, the last-minute design change is likely to extend the expected delivery timeline. 

A recent op-ed in Haaretz contends that Hezbollah is Israel’s "real threat." 

"Is a balance of terror being established between Iran and Israel similar to the one between the Soviet Union and United States during the Cold War?" the op-ed asks rhetorically. Hezbollah’s capability comprises "the greatest challenge facing the IDF [Israeli Defense Force] and its commander," contributor Moshe Arens writes.

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Israel believes Hezbollah maintains a stockpile of at least 100,000 missiles, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Israeli defense companies have begun testing sea-based drones to patrol regional waters and rain down high-powered missiles against land and naval targets. On March 9, Sputnik reported that the Israeli Navy had conducted its first successful testing of a Spike missile from an unmanned surface vehicle.

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