Israeli INS Eilat and U.S. USS Monterey Conduct bilateral Maritime Patrol

According to information published by the U.S Navy on August 31, 2021, ships from the Israeli Navy and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) conducted a combined maritime security patrol in the Red Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Sa'ar 5 corvette INS Eilat (501), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser and Israeli Navy fast patrol boat (Picture source: U.S. Navy)

Four Israeli and U.S. Navy ships sailed together in the Gulf of Aqaba as the U.S. Department of Defense shifted Israel from U.S. European Command to U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.

Guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) sailed alongside an Israeli Navy corvette and two patrol boats as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft flew overhead. The units conducted air defense, high value unit defense, small boat operations and tactical maneuver training.

In January, the United States announced moving Israel from U.S. European Command to U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility effective Sept. 1. The change offers new opportunities for cooperation among regional navies in the Middle East.

INS Eilat (501) is a Sa'ar 5-class corvette of the Israeli Navy that was built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in 1993. She is one of three Sa'ar 5-class corvettes in service with the Israeli Navy and her homeport is Haifa, Israel. The contract for the construction of the three ships of the class was signed in the early 1980s. Eilat was the first of the three ships to be launched and commissioned, being the first in her class.

Sa'ar 5 is a class of Israeli Navy corvettes. They were Israeli designed using lessons learned from the Sa'ar 4.5-class missile boats. Three Sa'ar 5 ships were built by Huntington Ingalls Industries for the Israeli Navy, based on Israeli designs.

They were the largest surface warships in Israel's naval fleet, although the Sa'ar 6-class corvette now being deployed are considerably larger. Although classified as "corvettes" due to their small size and crew of only 71, their weaponry and speed are almost comparable to that of a frigate. They are equipped with sonar, torpedoes, missile launchers, electronic warfare capabilities and decoys, a gun mount, and a helipad and helicopter hangar.