Israel's Defense Ministry says it has purchased four advanced surface vessels from Germany for 430 million euro ($480 million).

The purchase of the ships was announced Monday in Tel Aviv, as the countries were marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between them.

It's been nearly two decades since Israel replenished its naval ships and military officials are hoping the "Corvette" will become the future combat boat of the Israeli navy. The ships will be provided over the next five years and are also expected to protect Israel's maritime gas fields.

Dan Harel, the Defense Ministry's director-general, said the deal marked a "dramatic jump in the navy's defensive capabilities."

Israel already has four German-made submarines capable of launching nuclear warheads.