The Eilat Was The First Vessel Sunk By A Ship Launched Sea Skimming Missile.


The HMS Zealous became the Eilat when after World War II, Israel bought it and converted it into a naval patrol vessel. On October 21, 1967, the Eilat was patrolling shore off of Port Said in Egypt when an Egyptian Komar Class missile boat picked it up on radar. With little provocation, the Egyptians opened fire.


Soon an SS-N-2 Russian Styx sea skimmer missile was fired.


It slammed into the superstructure and put out the communications center and the user interface on the helm. An hour later another two Styx slammed into the Eilat and exploded the ammunition cache.


47 Israelis died and this resulted in a reorganization of the Israeli navy, and are assessment of Israeli naval tactics.


It would be until 1982 when sea skimmers made a ute difference in battle at the Falklands Island conflict. There a couple of French Exocet missiles hit and sank the HMS Sheffield and thusly the British heavy lift helicopters on board. This forced the Brits to walk across the island to make their assault instead of  being transported in.




SS-N-Styx Sea Skimmer

Source: Battle At Sea, 3000 Years Of Naval Engagement. R.G. Grant. 2000, wiki.



2 thoughts on “The Eilat Was The First Vessel Sunk By A Ship Launched Sea Skimming Missile.”

  1. As the HMS Sheffield was a destroyer, with next to no cargo space, I think you mean the MV Atlantic Conveyor, which was also destoyed by Exocet rockets, and which did have those heavy lift helicopters on board.

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