Israeli Navy receives second of new US-built landing craft

2,500-ton INS Komemiyut docks at Haifa Naval Base following lengthy voyage, months after first vessel delivered

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

INS Komemiyut landing craft is seen being escorted into Israel's territorial waters by other Navy vessels, June 16, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
INS Komemiyut landing craft is seen being escorted into Israel's territorial waters by other Navy vessels, June 16, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli Navy on Sunday 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.

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, the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces has previously said that the vessels, which weigh 2,500 tons each and are approximately 95 meters (311 feet) in length and 20 meters (65 feet) wide, will “act as a central pillar in adapting the Israeli Navy to the modern and multi-arena battlefield.”

The vessels were procured using funds from US military aid to Israel.

“Today, at the same time as IDF soldiers are engaged in intense fighting in the various arenas, the Navy received a vessel of strategic significance for the State of Israel. During these historic moments, we salute our brothers in arms who fell during their mission to maintain the security of the State of Israel,” the chief of the Navy, Vice Adm. David Sa’ar Salama, said in remarks released by the military on Sunday.

Vice Adm. David Sa’ar Salama, head of the Israeli Navy, speaks at a ceremony at Atlit Naval Base, July 10, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

“Sailors of the INS Komemiyut, today you have completed a voyage of thousands of miles. The end of the voyage is the beginning of the journey for you. Your future actions will strengthen the cooperation between the IDF branches, expand the range of military operations, and maintain the security of the State of Israel,” he added.

The Navy expects to declare the INS Nahshon operational during 2024. No timeline was given for INS Komemiyut.

Each landing craft team consists of dozens of combat sailors, a quarter of them female soldiers and officers, the IDF said previously. The ship will be commanded by a Navy officer with the rank of lieutenant commander — the Ground Forces equivalent of a major.

The Israeli Navy INS Nahson landing craft is seen at the Pascagoula Shipyard, Mississippi, August 8, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

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.

Most Popular
read more: