(PatriotHeadline.com)- Amidst increasing tensions with Iran, Israel just received its most advanced warship ever. On Wednesday, Israel said that the “Shield” ship would serve to protect gas rigs in the Mediterranean as Iranians continue to point fingers at Israel for the recent assassination of a top nuclear scientist.
The Saar-6 corvette ship docked in Haifa port and three more of the same ship will be delivered next year. It will bring the number of missile boats deployed by Israeli naval forces to 15. It gives the small country its best naval military presence than ever and will allow the country to carry out missions beyond the Gulf and the Red Seat.
Israeli officials also said that they intend to use the new ship to protect off-shore natural gas fields near Lebanon.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin attended a ceremony at the port, welcoming the arrival of the ship and describing how the discovery of gas fields off the shore of Israel “made it necessary to create a plan that will provide a protective envelope.”
The INS Magen, Israel’s first Sa’ar 6 warship and the newest addition to the Navy, arrived in Haifa today.
“This is a holiday for the State of Israel, the IDF and the Navy,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said.
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) December 2, 2020
Speaking to Reuters, an Israeli security official revealed how Iranians were looking for “prestige” targets like the gas rigs, knowing that they can be hit with low casualties. The official said that Iranians may attack the rigs expecting that there would be “less chance of escalation.”
“The question is whether Hezbollah would strike now,” the official added.
Israel has not claimed responsibility for the assassination of the top Iranian nuclear scientist – but has also not denied responsibility either. Iranian officials assumed that the assassination was an Israeli plot as it shared many similarities to previous assassinations ordered by the country.
The new Saar-6 “Shied” is equipped with electronic countermeasures designed to protect against cruise missiles. It also has an adapted version of Israel’s “Iron Dome” which will help the ships shoot down high-angle rockets.