- 1958: 1 x 40mm, 1 x 20mm, 2 x 450mm Torpedoes
- 1961: 1 x 40mm, 1 x 20mm, 2 x 12.7mm, 2 x 450mm Torpedoes
- I said ‘No’ in the first question.
Hello everyone! Today I’m going to start suggesting one of the many Torpedo boats Israel operated.
We’re starting of with this one, the Meulan 85ft Diesel-class Motor Torpedo Boat, INS Ayah (T-203).
Source: File:T203VisitorFlag.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
The story of the boats bought by Israel from the French Meulan company is quite interesting. In the late 40’s, early 50’s, it was very hard for Israel to buy fully armed vessels from any other country due to restrictions being put on deals like that. And so many ships were bought stripped of all their weaponry and Israel then added their own weapons to them, which led to some very unique modifications of foreign ships.
But there was always demand for a way to buy armed ships, and in comes the French Meulan company. Meulan had only built private yachts and never did anything that included armed militairy vessels. This made it so that they didn’t have any restrictions placed on them regarding the rules for selling armed vessels to other countries. Meulan was given one of the Israeli boats they bought of the British Power Boat Company, and they examined the boat and set out to create their own with some improvements. And so Meulan created their 85 foot Motor Torpedo Boats for Israel.
Meulan would sell a total of six of these boats to Israel. The first four being powered by Junkers Jumo Gasoline engines, and the last two having Napier-Deltic Diesel engines.
INS Ayah was one of the two boats that were fitted with the Napier-Deltic Diesel engines right from the start. The story of these Napier-Deltic Diesel engined boats started with INS Tachmas (T-206). After an explosion Tachmas would be returned to Meulan for repairs and improvements. One of these changes was to install the two Napier-Deltic Diesel engines in her instead of the four Junkers Jumo Gasoline engines. This change was quite a succes, and so Israel ordered two more of these Diesel powered boats. That being INS Ayah (T-203) and INS Dayah (T-204).
INS Ayah was armed withone 40mm, one 20mm and two torpedo tubes that can fire German 17.7 inch (450 mm) F5b torpedoes. Something that is interesting about the 20mm guns is that they are Oerlikon autocannons, but not the variant used by the allied forces of WW2. No, instead of those, Israel can be seen using the surplus of 20mm Flak 29 Oerlikon guns left over from Germany after they lost the war.
They are ofcourse identical in performance to the Allied variants. But their mounting is slightly different and it’s a cool little detail I thought I point out.
Some time later in 1961 the location of the 40mm and 20mm would be swapped, and two 12.7mm machineguns would be added to the side of the bridge.
Displacement: 62 tons
Length: 85,3 feet (26 meters)
Breadth: 20,7 feet (6,31 meters)
Draught: 5 feet (1,52 meters)
Machinery: 2 x Napier-Deltic Diesel engines
Max speed: 42 knots (78 km/h)
Well that is all for this little boat. Many more suggestions like these to come in the future!
See you on the battlefield!