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Israeli Navy Receives Second of New US-Built Landing Craft

The Israeli Navy on June 16, received the second of two new landing craft from a shipyard in the United States, with the vessel mooring at the Haifa Naval Base after making a lengthy voyage to the country. The US-built INS Komemiyut was the Navy’s second landing craft, after the INS Nahshon, which was received in early October last year.

First US-Built landing craft (INS “Nahshon”)

The Israeli Navy received its first landing craft, the INS “Nahshon” in August 2023. Built by Bollinger Shipyards of Louisiana, INS Nahshon has an LOA of 95 metres, a beam of 20 metres, a draught of 4.2 metres, and a displacement of approximately 2,500 tonnes. In addition to transporting troops, cargo with a total volume equivalent to that of 82 ISO containers, and vehicles including main battle tanks, the vessel will also be tasked with supporting contingency operations such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The vessel’s design utilises that of the General Frank S. Besson-class logistics support vessels (LSVs) operated by the US Army. Software from SSI aided in the development of the vessel to better suit the requirements of the Israeli Navy. Cargo and personnel are loaded and unloaded via a bow ramp, and operations are possible even via unprepared beaches of only 1.2 metres depth when carrying 900 tonnes of assorted payloads. The vessel may also transport over 2,000 tonnes of Ro-Ro freight in one sailing, but will be limited only to deeper-draught waters. The vessel’s propulsion system can deliver speeds of up to 14.2 knots and a range of over 6,500 nautical miles at full displacement. The Navy expects to declare the INS Nahshon operational during 2024.

About this new US-Built landing craft

The US-built INS Komemiyut was the Navy’s second landing craft, after the INS Nahshon, which was received in early October last year. It is the second such naval landing craft to be acquired by the Israel Navy from the US in the past eight months. The vessel’s entrance to the State of Israel’s territorial waters was accompanied by Israeli Navy vessels in a “missing” formation, this in memory of the fallen soldiers from the “Swords of Iron” war. As the INS Komemiyut arrived in Israel’s territorial waters, it was escorted by a flotilla of other Navy ships, with one vessel symbolically leaving the formation as a salute to the slain soldiers of the war. No timeline was given for INS Komemiyut.

Capacity and Command of INS Komemiyut

Each landing craft team consists of dozens of combat sailors, a quarter of them female soldiers and officers. The ship will be commanded by a Navy officer with the rank of lieutenant commander- the Ground Forces equivalent of a major. Landing craft are primarily used to transport troops and equipment across the sea and deploy them on the shore during an amphibious assault. The Israeli Navy used such vessels since its inception in 1948 and until 1993, when the last of the aging landing crafts were decommissioned, with the military assessing at the time that it had no use for newer models. The new procurement of the landing crafts for the Israeli Navy began some four years ago.


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