Class: Missile Boat
INS Mivtach was launched on 11 April 1967 in Cherbourg Ship Yard, France as a modern type of vessel equipped with sea skimming missiles, at the time a brand new concept. The Soviets had deployed Styx ship-to-ship missiles on small vessels, but they were handled as if they were torpedo boats with unguided missiles.
The new missile boats were designed to process the tactical picture in the open sea on their own, and to launch beam-riding missiles guided by radar/optic or independent homing missiles. The Israeli navy had developed this concept during the early 1960's and the Cherbourg ship yard was chosen to build the fleet.
On December 25th, 1967 INS Mivtach set sail for its home port in Haifa, Israel. Upon its arrival, the ship was temporarily equipped with 40 mm Guns and began its service as a gun boat (Sa'ar 1). The Gabriel missile system was not deployed on the ship until 1973.
During April 1973 Mivtach transported special operations forces and served as the command ship during a daring commando raid against a terrorists headquarters in Lebanon (Aviv Neurim).
In the Yom Kippur War (October 1973) she participated still as a gunboat in the first missile boat battle in the world (Latakia battle) during which one enemy torpedo boat, a minesweeper and three enemy missile boats were sunk.
In the years after the 1973 war, the ship was intensely involved in the interdiction of terrorist.
In Spring 1979 the ship was the first to be equipped with a new sonar array (VDS) and the Gabriel missile was replaced by the Harpoon missile system.
On 11 January 1996 the ship was decommissioned and in a complex logistic operation transferred to the museum where she resides today.
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