Israeli Navy patrol boats constantly patrol Israel's Mediterranean coastline -- including occupied Sinai. The Navy?
Israeli Navy patrol boats constantly patrol Israel's Mediterranean coastline -- including occupied Sinai. The Navy has placed recent emphasis on smaller fast craft which carry heavy armaments, usually including sea-to-sea missiles.
In the "Six-day war" three years ago, the Navy played an important role in Israeli operations. On the first night of the war, naval installations in Alexandria were attacked and several Egyptian shops damaged; outside of Port Said two Ossa guided missiles craft were sunk. But after the war, the Israely Navy losses: the destroyer "Eilat" was sunk by guided missiles and the submarine "Dakar" vanished without trace en route to Haifa.
These losses accelerated the Israeli Navy's switch to smaller, faster craft. Previously it was composed of old ships, of European and American origin. Twelve fast gunboats were ordered from France -- the last five of them were taken from Cherbourg harbour by the Israelis in a sensational snatch-raid -- and with 26 fast torpedo and patrol boats, they form a highly effective part of the Navy.
Cooperation with the Israeli Air Force enables to Navy to keep a constant coastline surveillance and given protection to incoming ships. But the Egyptian Navy still outnumbers them by 3:1 in naval craft.