The ceremony for the delivery of Achi Nachshon took place yesterday (Tuesday) at the Pascagoula shipyard in the United States, the first of two deliveries to be received at sea. The ceremony was led by the commander of the Haifa Naval Base, Brigadier General Tal Politis, along with senior officials from the procurement delegation of the Ministry of Defense.
The Achi Nachshon is a military landing craft that enables deployment to distant areas. It has a length of about 95 meters, a width of about 20 meters, and weighs over 2,500 tons. The crew consists of tens of combatants, and the commanding officer of the vessel holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
The landings will serve as the foundation for adapting the naval arm to the modern and multi-theater battlefield. Among other roles, they will function as a logistical axis for equipment movement and the transfer of personnel in both close and distant areas. Additionally, the landings will facilitate the enhancement of quality cooperation between various units within the naval arm, the Techno-Logistical Branch, and the different branches of the IDF. This will contribute to the reinforcement and optimization of joint operational activities and the implementation of the extensive multi-theater combat effort in routine and emergency situations.
The joint construction project of the IDF and the Ministry of Defense for the Achi Nachshon began approximately 4 years ago, when it was acquired by the Procurement Delegation in the Ministry of Defense with financial aid from the US government to Israel. The handover ceremony marks a significant milestone in the process of receiving these vessels from the United States into the Israeli Navy.
Now, the construction phase begins, which includes crew training and operational certification tests, and in a few months, it is expected to sail and arrive in Israel. During the course of 2024, the delivery will be officially announced as an operational combat vessel.
"A great privilege is yours today, to write a chapter in the history books of the Israeli Navy," wrote Admiral David Saar Salame, Commander of the Israeli Navy, to the inaugural crew of Achi Nachshon. "Just as your ship is "Nachshon", so are you "Nachshonim" – pioneers of the way, the first to leap into the water and carve a path through the heart of the seas, rejuvenating our maritime heritage and much more than that."
"You embarked on a journey to build a ship, far from home ports and family, and succeeded in turning a dream into reality. With remarkable dedication, selflessness, and professionalism, in amazing partnership spanning oceans, peoples, and lands – you are leading the Israeli Navy toward new horizons, towards horizons of influence, and determination."
Also, the commander of Flotilla 921, Lieutenant Colonel O., conveyed to the team: "It is an emotional period and a historic date in which the Israeli Navy revitalizes a professional field and a tradition of warriors spanning many years. Achi Nachshon represents pioneering spirit and courageous hearts, and so does its inaugural crew, breathing life into a historical capability, bringing the Israeli Navy and the IDF endless professional possibilities."
"The transfer of the landing craft to the Israeli Navy is one in a series of building force initiatives carried out in the United States on behalf of the IDF by the Procurement Mission of the Israeli Ministry of Defense in New York, utilizing security assistance funds provided by the United States government to the State of Israel," said Brigadier General (Res.) Mishel Ben Baruch, Head of the Procurement Mission of the Israeli Ministry of Defense in New York.