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March 24, 2022 6:23 pm

Israeli Navy Concludes Drill With US, France, Greece, Cyprus Amid Increase in Maritime Threats

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Soldiers participate in the “Noble Dina” joint naval exercise between Israel, Greece, France, Cyprus, and the US in March 2022. Photo: IDF

The Israeli military on Thursday said that its navy completed a multinational exercise in the Mediterranean Sea to foster operational cooperation between allies and exchange knowledge on confronting threats.

Dubbed “Noble Dina,” the annual exercise took place west of Cyprus and included the navies of the United States, France, Greece, and Cyprus, Israel’s Defense Forces said.

During the drill, the Israeli fleet simulated different scenarios that called for naval defense, anti-submarine procedures, search and rescue operations, as well as the provision of medical aid at sea.

The annual exercise, which kicked off with a commanders meeting onboard an Israeli Sa’ar 5-class corvette warship, aims “to strengthen the cooperation between the navies involved, strengthen a common operational language and deepen shared operational knowledge,” the IDF said.

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Lt. Gen. Dimokritos Zervakis, head of the Cyprus National Guard, said participants demonstrated “outstanding cooperation and interoperability.”

The drill comes as Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett last month warned about a recent increase in maritime threats against Israel and accentuated the importance of joint naval exercises with the US and regional allies.

Last month, Israel took part in a 60-nation, US-led Middle East naval exercise together with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — and, for the first time, publicly joined Saudi Arabia and Oman, two countries with which it has no official diplomatic relations.

Earlier this year, Israel signed a $3.4 billion deal with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems to acquire a new class of three advanced submarines, the so-called Dakar series. Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the new submarines will contribute to Israel’s security superiority in the region.

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