Cyprus to buy Israeli warships, reports local daily

 Saar5iCorveteLTHE GOVERNMENT is looking to purchase two warships from Israel to protect the Exclusive Economic Zone, according to daily Alithia.

The paper reports that the warships will cost 100 million euros, payable over a 17-year period. The agreement regarding purchase was taken during the term of the last government the paper adds.

The boats will be up to 89 meters long and their displacement between 1500 and 2000 tons.  The largest displacement means that the boat will  probably incorporate surface-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

The same sources report that each ship will have a crew of 45 people.

The design is not yet known, but it will be probably based on the Sa’ar 4  class missile boat.


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  • Kdragases

    Ships are nice but without significant air assets they would be seriously exposed, this move seems more symbolic than practical

    • John

      Agreed. But what one can do alone should do it alone, ie rely on your own means as much as possible. Cyprus certainly cannot support an air force (it will have to rely on Greece for that), but having two small warships is within its capabilities. Also we should not always think that security means necessarily war. Cyprus will have to protect the gas platforms and pipelines during peacetime. Small intensity incidents with Turkey or/and terrorist attacks from neighboring Arab shores since we closely cooperate with Israel, even SAR operations are some scenarios we should be able to deal with. Besides there are political reasons as well. Without any asset to patrol and protect the EEZ, other nations and especially Turkey will rush to offer their support, claiming in international fora that this is legitimate since the specific area is left unprotected and for security and humanitarian reasons we Turks as a neighboring country are offering our help, undermining in that way the Cypriot rights..

      • Kdragases

        You raise valid issues John, especially when looking at the equation in geo-political terms. I was focusing too much on the military aspect.

  • Eric R.

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper (and perhaps just as effective) to buy an older Sa’ar Class vessel that the Israelis might be retiring and let the Israelis refurbish it and update the electronics? For what Cyprus needs to do, they could probably save $20+ million, which I’m sure matters to the country, given its financial state. I’m in favor of strengthening the relationship, but part of building the relationship would be for Israel to help Cyprus save a little money on the deal.

    On another issue with Israel-Cyprus relations, has there been any movement on allowing Israel to use Paphos Air Base?

    Oh, one more thing – welcome back, gentlemen.

  • Cypriot

    This is dangerous because it now means that Israel will profit from the tensions between Cyprus and Turkey. This will only motivate Israel to ensure these tensions remain.

  • protosphere

    Cypriot, why would they jeopardize mutual interests in the gas reserves. I am also surprised that you would mistrust such a close partner of Greece making your alias of “Cypriot” highly questionable.

    This not Israel’s mode of operand with their forever dear and close friend Greece.

    The profits from the gas reserves would by far outweigh this expenditure in insurance to protect them anyway.

    However, there has been speculation that the so called bailout loans from Germany were contingent on Greece remaining largest customer of arms. I would be more concerned about the forth Reich’s financial lebensraum who also set a precedent to stealing deposits and safe haven of funds. .

    This old foe Germany is also friends with, also currently booming, old foe Turkey, who has just jailed many for many years in their political opposition including military leaders and journalists.

    These booming countries are dangerous and the US harlots principle again for their interests, as they did not treating Cyprus like Kuwait in 1974.

    However, even the US would not tolerate Turkish aggression today, let alone many other allied countries like Britain and France, including Russia and perhaps even China as Greece gets along with everyone, It is the Turks who have issues with their neighbors..

    To claim Israel would sell arms out of opportunism is preposterous.