An Israeli Naval Ship (INS), the Hetz/Nirit-class Sa'ar 4.5 is a missile boat that was launched sometime in 1991. The Hetz - and her class - are designed with a multiple mission set in mind: "brown water" patrol close to the shore line and "deep blue" water assignments further at sea. The Hetz takes on a coast guard type assignments and, at times, can be called upon to assume destroyer escort duty as a picket boat, in effect expanding the missile defense umbrella covering Israel's coastline against enemy missile, aircraft or a surface warship attack.
Originally, the Hetz Sa'ar 4.5-class missile boat was named the INS Nirit. Two of the original class - the Aliya and Geula - were scheduled to have helipads and hangers built atop the aft deck. They were renamed to the INS Aliya-class. Compatible helicopters included the Sikorsky HH-65, Bell 206, Hughes MD 500 as well as the newest Eurocopter Panther. In 2006, both "heliboats" were sold to Mexico.
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8 x Harpoon surface-to-surface, long-range, anti-ship missiles.
6 x Gabriel II surface-to-surface, short-to-medium range, anti-ship missiles.
4 x Barak surface-to-air, anti-aircraft, short range missile system.
2 x 76mm OTO Melara cannons OR 2 x Vulcan Phalanx Mk 15 25mm CIWS.
2 x 20mm Typhoon anti-aircraft cannons
4 x Chaff dispensers
4 x Smoke dispensers
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