Egyptian Navy celebrates 51st anniversary of ‘sinking Eilat’

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Mon, 22 Oct 2018 - 01:31 GMT

Israeli warship, Eilat, is the first in history to be sunk by ship-to-ship missiles - Wikimedia Commons

Israeli warship, Eilat, is the first in history to be sunk by ship-to-ship missiles - Wikimedia Commons

CAIRO - 22 October 2018: Egyptian Navy held a ceremony on Oct.21 to celebrate the 51st anniversary of sinking the Israeli destroyer Eilat. The date was chosen to mark the Egyptian Navy Day because the Israeli warship is the first in history to be sunk by ship-to-ship missiles.

On October 21, 1967, Eilat entered the Egyptian national waters as a show of force in the Mediterranean off the coasts of Sinai Peninsula that was occupied by Israel on June 5 of the same year. As a consequence, the Egyptian Navy fired a number of P-15 Termit (SS-N-2 Styx) missiles using Soviet Project 183R class (Komar) boats at the Z-class destroyer built in 1944 by Cammell Laird for the Royal Navy before it was sold to Israel in 1955.

Commander in Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled told DMC channel the operation contributed in reinstating Egyptians’ confidence in the Armed Forces and its capabilities shortly after the defeat in the Six-Day War. The commander added that the Egyptian navy closed Bab-el-Mandeb Strait during the October 6 War in 1973 to deprive Israel from supplies.

The vice admiral said that the General Command of the Armed Forces has been eager to introduce the most modern combat and technical systems in the navy. That was epitomized in purchasing two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships; a FREMM frigate, Pohang-class frigate; a Molniya-class RKA-32 Missile corvette; two Type 209 submarines; and four Gowind-class corvette.

Khaled stated that, in addition to acquiring outstanding vessels, Egypt is building warships in collaboration with other countries and providing navy personnel with necessary skills and expertise.

The website of the Egyptian Ministry of Defense and Military Production posted a documentary on the navy’s accomplishments, recently acquired weapons, and joint exercises. The documentary is titled “The Egyptian Navy: Heroics and Achievements.”


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