The government approved the procurement of two U.S.-made naval landing crafts, authorities revealed Monday, adding that the purchase itself is expected to take place in the coming months.
While Israel hasn't purchased this type of vessel since 1993 due to the lack of considerable maritime threats in the region, Hezbollah's continuous expansion in Lebanon — with which the Jewish state shares a disputed maritime border — has changed the country's security considerations, i24NEWS correspondent Ariel Levin Waldman explained.
“Israel is looking north and saying Hezbollah is gaining power, they are an Iranian proxy and the time is quickly coming that a confrontation with Iran could very well be on the agenda,” Waldman said, adding that the quickest way to stop potential Iranian attack is to hit Beirut, but doing so by land fortified by Hezbollah is much less effective than a direct strike from the sea, which requires wider naval capabilities.
Jerusalem currently has only seven corvettes and eight missile boats designed to intercept threats coming into Israel but doesn’t have the ability to project force, according to Waldman.
The American-built vessels are expected to join a new squadron at the Ashdod Naval Base in a few months.
The landing crafts are small to medium-sized vessels that were largely used during World War II. It is designed to transport soldiers, equipment, vehicles and supplies from sea to shore during military offensive operations. Said crafts can carry around 200 men and up to 75 tons of cargo, and can also be used for raids inside enemy territory.
Story republished with permission from i24NEWS.