On August 15, Lebanon’s al-Manar TV broadcasted a special documentary revealing extensive details about the 2006 Hezbollah attack on Israeli Navy ship Hanit.
Hezbollah used anti-ship missiles in the attack, which occurred on the third day of the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war [July 14]. INS Hanit, a modern Sa’ar 5-class corvette, was damaged as a result.
Four of Hanit’s crew members, Staff Sergeant Tal Amgar, Corporal Shai Atas, Sergeant Yaniv Hershkovitz and First Sergeant Dov Steinshuss, were killed.
The new documentary, “Army to Be Drowned,” reveals how Hezbollah detected and successfully targeted the Israeli warship and shades some light on the Lebanese group’s costal defense capabilities.
Detection and Identification of INS Hanit:
The first part of the documentary reveals how Hezbollah personnel were able to detect and identify INS Hanit.
The Lebanese group apparently used a land-based Kelvin Hughes SharpEye naval search radar to achieve this task. Manufactured by Britain’s Kelvin Hughes, the radar is available for commercial use.
In March of 2011, the Israeli military seized two radars of the same type aboard the vessel Victoria, which was allegedly smuggling weapons from Iran to the Hamas Movement in the Gaza Strip. Six Chinese-made C-704 anti-ship missiles were also seized.
A normal video camera was used to properly identify the warship, which was sailing few kilometers off the Lebanese shores, and also to document the whole operation.
The documentary’s second part contains footage of the actually targeting of INS Hanit by Hezbollah.
Hezbollah fighters can be seen preparing then launching at least two Chinese-made C-802 anti-ship missiles at the Israeli warship at exactly 20:00 PM [Beriut time] on 14-8-2006.
The Lebanese armed group used a truck-mounted tripartite missile launcher. The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) uses similar launchers for the C-802 missile.
Hezbollah’s costal-defense capabilities:
Army to Be Drowned provided us with a rare look at a part of Hezbollah’s costal-defense capabilities.
The documentary confirmed that Hezbollah owns C-802 and C-704 anti-ship missiles. The first has a range of no less than 180km, while the second’s range is limited to 35km. Both missiles are guided with active radar homing (ARH), which means that they don’t require any radar correction after launch.
While the documentary confirmed that C-802 missiles were used in the attack on INS Hanit, it remains unclear if C-704 missiles were used by Hezbollah in other attacks. The Lebanese group announced several attacks on small Israeli vessels during the 2006 war.
Hezbollah’s ability to operate such advanced anti-ship weapons poses a serious threat to the Israeli Navy, which have been working since 2006 to improve its counter-measures.
This new documentary will likely inflame the tension between Lebanon and Israel. Over the last year, Israeli leaders threatened to take military action against Hezbollah’s missile arsenal on many occasions and even sent threats to Beirut.