The Israel Navy tested the new Gabriel 5 surface-to-surface missile, or “Blue Spear,” last month, the Israel Defense Forces reported, sharing a video of the test on its social media account this past week.
The Blue Spear missile test involved launching the Gabriel 5 from one of the Navy’s four Sa’ar 6-class corvettes, a German-made anti-missile ship.
According to the IDF, the missile test was “complex” and was just one of a number of tests being done for the benefit of the Sa’ar 6 ships.
The Gabriel 5 is the product of a cooperative development effort by the Navy, the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and Israel Aerospace Industries, the Jewish state's major aerospace and aviation manufacturer.
“The Gabriel 5 is an advanced, long-range, sea-to-sea missile system, with a flight capability of hundreds of kilometers, in varying sea and air situations,” the IDF said in a statement. “The missile’s impact enables the thwarting and destruction of a wide range of targets and threats.”
“The advanced missile ensures the advantage of the Navy and the preservation of the IDF’s naval superiority, and will be used by the Navy in its missions, including the protection of the strategic assets of the State of Israel,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the missile system “is designed to strike targets in contested, congested and complex scenarios even when dealing with sophisticated countermeasures.”
According to the JPost, the Gabriel 5 system combines “anti-ship and land-attack capabilities, with a range of 290 km at high sub-sonic speed.”
At 4.3 meters long and weighing 760 kilograms, with the capability of carrying a 150-kilogram high-explosive munitions warhead, the Gabriel 5 missiles can reach targets beyond the line of sight, whether mobile or stationary. The “Blue Spear” is difficult to detect by radar or other systems, as it does not fly in a straight line towards its target.
The Israeli missile test follows recent threats by Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist organization based in Lebanon, which has said it will attack Israel’s Karish gas field in the Mediterranean Sea if Israel begins gas extraction there.
Rear Admiral Guy Goldfarb, both the deputy commander-in-chief and the chief-of-staff of the Israeli Navy, possibly included those threats when he spoke of the “regional challenges” that the Gabriel 5 system is designed to counter.
“The Navy continues to develop and change in the face of a variety of increasing operational challenges and regional changes,” however, the Blue Spear will “strengthen the operational and defensive capabilities of the Navy,” Goldfarb said.
The naval chief-of-staff made it clear that Israel needs such capabilities in order to preserve freedom of navigation in the region, and that the Navy provides Israel strategic depth.
“The Navy believes in preserving freedom of navigation, the preservation of the maritime arena, as well as the economic waters and the strategic assets of the State of Israel,” he said.
The IAI CEO, Boaz Levy, issued a statement citing pride in the success of the missile test.
“Integration of these capabilities on the Sa’ar 6 constitutes a significant leap forward in the field of naval warfare, for the protection of the strategic assets of the State of Israel,” he echoed.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.