Israeli ships during Nobel Dina 2019.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
srael recently completed the 2019 three-week long trilateral Noble Dina exercise alongside American and Hellenic naval forces in the Mediterranean.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the Israeli Navy participated with the INS Keshet and INS Lahav missile ships, as well as Sa’ar 5 and Sa’ar 4.5 missile frigates and the INS Tanin Dolphin 2-class submarine.
The Israeli Air Force also reportedly sent a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, Ya’sur helicopters, AS565 MA Panther (Atalef) helicopters and Shoval UAVs from the 200th Squadron. Troops from the IAF’s elite Airborne Combat, Search and Rescue Unit 669 also took part in the drill.
The Greek Navy stated that the main objectives of the exercise was focused on addressing modern challenges and threats in the marine environment and promoting the level of cooperation and mutual understanding of the three navies.
“The navy sees great importance in exercises of this kind, which strengthen its cooperation with the various fleets in the Mediterranean and beyond,” the IDF said in a statement to The Jerusalem Post.
The drill took place in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cretan Sea in the southern part of the Aegean Sea. Several activities were also held at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC) at Souda Bay in Crete where the drill began.
After leaving Souda Bay, the three navies carried out a week-long exercise in the open sea before reaching the port of Haifa where another naval exercise was held.
According to the IDF, while most of the exercise dealt with underwater warfare, other scenarios such as swarms, rescue situations while at sea and air defense were also practiced.
A senior Israeli naval officer was quoted by the Israel Defense news site as saying that the exercise also saw the scrambling of a C-130 Hercules aircraft and Yas’ur helicopters carrying troops from 669 to a distance of 800 to 1,000 kilometers from Israel’s borders, where they then practiced rescue and extraction.
The exercise also saw Israel drill on assembling a naval picture of surface elements while an underwater picture was assembled by Greek helicopters and US Navy aircraft. Israel Defense also reported that the Israeli Navy also practiced how to respond to attacks against their vessels from the shore, using fighter jets to simulate approaching shore-to-sea missiles.
“The fighters recreated a flight profile similar to that of missiles – close to the water, simulating a realistic situation. Short of actually launching a missile from the vessel, the war fighters operated all of the systems on their vessels, as they would have done in a real-life situation,” a senior naval officer was quoted as saying.
The drill also saw seamen simulate defending a port against a threat posed by submarines at Israel’s Haifa Port.
“We ordered the submarines to attack a port, photograph it and plant mines, and our task was to catch and attack them,” the senior naval officer was quoted by Defense News as saying, adding that “in the context of the exercise, we dropped small charges that created ‘bangs’ underwater, to simulate a realistic scenario.”
While Israel’s Navy is relatively small compared to other IDF corps, it has a significant amount of territory to protect since the expansion of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from 40 miles to 150 miles four years ago.
Israel regularly participates in military exercises with the United States and Greece. Earlier this month, the IAF along with pilots from the United Arab Emirates, United States, Italy, Cyprus and almost the entire Hellenic Air Force fleet took part in Iniohos 2019, Greece’s largest military exercise.
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