After ‘complex’ testing, the newest Gabriel V anti-ship missile will be installed aboard Sa’ar 6-class corvettes

The Gabriel V is the fifth generation of anti-ship missiles developed by Israeli Aerospace Industries. Finnish Navy also announced in December 2019 that it had purchased the missile from Israel. The Gabriel V anti-ship missile will replace the Saab RBS-15SF and MBDA Exocet missiles. The Gabriel V can engage aerial and land-based targets, with a range of more than 200 kilometres. It is equipped with an active radar seeker with superior anti-jamming capabilities and all-weather capabilities.

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Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P. Chacko is the publisher of Frontier India, portal publishing news and current affairs. He holds an M.B.A in International Business from the Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, USA. Twitter: @chackojoseph *views are Personal.

According to the IDF and Defence Ministry, the Israeli Navy completed a successful test of the newest generation of anti-ship missiles last month.

The Gabriel V is the fifth generation of anti-ship missiles developed by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and MAFAT, the Hebrew abbreviation for the Defense Ministry’s research and development branch.

During the “complicated” testing in August, the Sa’ar 6-class corvette INS Oz fired a missile at a dummy ship, destroying it.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the missile can travel hundreds of kilometres in a range of sea and air conditions, allowing it to “defeat and destroy a vast array of targets and threats.”

Gabriel V missiles are installed in Sa’ar 6-class corvettes, replacing the Gabriel IV missiles built in the 1990s. The Finnish Navy also announced in December 2019 that it had purchased the fifth-generation Gabriel from Israel.

The sophisticated missiles assure the continued maritime supremacy of the IDF and will be employed by the Navy in its duties, including safeguarding Israel’s strategic assets, according to a military statement.

Gabriel V missile

IAI built its first anti-ship missile 50 years back, beginning with the introduction of the first generation of the Gabriel missile in the mid-1960s. The naval strike system introduced the sea-skimming concept for increased lethality and mission effectiveness against targets employing electronic countermeasures (ECM) in the littorals and onshore. The effective combat debut of the Gabriel missile during the 1973 conflict, during which it successfully destroyed enemy naval vessels, contributed to the missile’s notoriety.

Several variations of the system have been deployed since its inception, and over one thousand missiles have been supplied to the Israeli Ministry of Defense and various other clients worldwide. The fifth generation is the most current type, distinguished by its novel strike capability, derived from cutting-edge technology, system-level approach, and superior performance. The IAI calls the missile ANAM (Advanced Naval Attack Missile) on its website.

The Ministry of Defense of Finland announced that on July 5, 2018, Minister of Defense Jussi Niinisto approved the acquisition of new Israeli anti-ship missiles Gabriel by the Finnish Defense Forces Support Command to equip four upcoming corvettes planned for construction for the Finnish Navy under the Laivue 2020 programme (“Flotilla 2020”), as well as missile boats of the Hamina type and coastal missile units. The Gabriel missile generation was not specified. However, it seemed that IAI had created new variants of Gabriel anti-ship missiles.

The number of missiles to be acquired was unknown, but the deal was expected to cost 162 million euros, with an additional 193 million euro option. Deliveries were to occur between 2019 and 2025. The missiles acquired the official Finnish name SSM2020 and are intended to replace the Saab RBS- 15SF (Mk 2) anti-ship missiles (Mk 2, subsequently substantially upgraded to Mk 3 level designation MT085M). Finland will operate the new anti-ship missiles until at least 2050.

Finland’s selection of Gabriel AsHM was based on a competitive evaluation process, including Kongsberg NSM, Saab RBS-15 Mk 4, Boeing Harpoon Block II+, and MBDA Exocet.

In 2019, the Finnish Navy lifted the veil on its future Gabriel V anti-ship missile with an official post on its website.

According to information and illustrations released by the Finnish Navy on December 13, the missile’s airframe resembles the Boeing Harpoon design with a rear underbelly fixed air intake, middle-airframe and rear folding fins, and smaller fixed rear fins. According to publicly available information, the Gabriel V has a length of 5.5 metres and a weight of 1,250 kilograms. Its turbojet engine allows subsonic speed, while its fuel tanks provide a range of more than 200 kilometres. The Gabriel V has a rear booster for ship and vehicle launches.

The new anti-ship missile of the Finnish Navy is equipped with an active radar seeker that has superior anti-jamming capabilities, all-weather capabilities, a broad search range, and high discriminating resolution. ANAM is equipped with a GPS/INS, an integrated navigation system with several waypoints, and a piercing warhead. According to the Finnish Navy, the Gabriel V can engage aerial and land-based targets.

Other Anti Ship Missiles

IAI debuted the Sea Serpent anti-ship missiles during the DSEI 2021 exhibition in London (UK). The Ashm was developed in collaboration with the French firm Thales. The anti-ship missile is intended to equip British Navy Type 23 frigates; this need is known as SSGW (surface-to-surface guided weapon). The missile is built particularly to fulfil the requirements of the Royal Navy. The new anti-ship missile was developed concurrently with upgrading previous missiles, such as the Gabriel V anti-ship missile and the Blue Spear, which was developed in collaboration with ST Engineering for the Republic of Singapore Navy. 

Another Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has developed the Sea Breaker fifth generation missile for a distance of 300 km and Link 16 compatibility. 

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