Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is working on a new anti-ship missile designed as a primary armament for naval vessels. With dimensions similar to the Exocet and Harpoon, Gabriel-5 represents the latest member to IAI’s Gabriel Missile family of naval attack missiles. The new Gabriel 5 is design to offer superior performance compared to most contemporary missiles, particularly when employed in littoral waters and sophisticated soft- and hard-kill defenses.
The new configuration is believed to have evolved from an earlier version which replaced the Gabriel II in Israel Navy service. The existence of such missile was never confirmed but the fact that Israel hasn’t updated its Harpoon (RGM-84D) missiles into Block II configurations (RGM-84L), unlike most other Harpoon users which implemented this option.
Hints about a possible existence of such weapon surfaced in the early 2000s, as IAI participated in an international tender to equip the new Singaporean Navy frigates. Eventually Singapore selected the Harpoon missile.
The new Gabriel 5 is design to be superior compared to most contemporary missiles, particularly when employed in littoral waters. It uses an advanced active radar seeker backed by a sophisticated weapon control to optimize operational effectiveness in a target congested battlespace. The missile significantly improves target selectivity capability, especially in littoral waters, typically congested with marine traffic, and interference generating extensive and complex false target signals. As an advanced attack missile Gabriel 5 can penetrate the target’s protection, both soft- and hard-kill defenses. It is designed with sophisticated electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) dealing with chaff, advanced decoys and active ECM.
Gabriel 5 is expected to be part of a new offensive and defensive system suite under development at IAI’s Missiles and Space division. This new family of weapons will also comprise the Barak-8 wide area, long range air defense missile and multi-mode, a n integrated combat management system and IAI/Elta’s multi-function EL/M-2248 MF-STAR shipborne phased array radar system, which Elta claims to be superior to the SPY-1 AEGIS radar.