Tel Aviv (Jul. 5)
The Israel Navy has disclosed that it has been employing for some time the American-made “Harpoon” surface-to-surface missile which is far superior to the Israeli-made “Gabriel” missile. It has extended greatly the range of Israel’s attack capability at sea, the report issued on the occasion of Navy Day said.
The “Harpoon” which can hit targets beyond the horizon, is manufactured by the McDonnell Douglas Co. Its range is considerably greater than the “Gabriel’s” and unlike the Israel-made weapon, it does not have to be directed at a target but seeks it out automatically. It is known in naval circles as a “fire-and-forget” missile. It travels close to the sea surface and is therefore difficult to detect with radar.
Israeli missile boats are also equipped with landing pads for small helicopters used for nearby reconnaissance. They too fly below normal radar range. Their pilots need intensive training to land on the narrow decks of the missile boats which travel at high speeds even in rough seas.