IDF wraps up naval drill with Greece, France, Cyprus and US

‘Noble Dina’ exercise simulates naval and aerial cooperation against submarines; military says it is ‘another significant pillar’ of regional cooperation

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday announced the completion of a major international naval exercise in the Mediterranean.

Greece, France, Cyprus and the United States participated in the exercise — dubbed “Noble Dina” — this week near the coast of Cyprus.

The Israeli Navy simulated different scenarios alongside the foreign fleets including naval defense, anti-submarine procedures, search and rescue, and providing medical aid at sea, the IDF said in a statement.

“The exercise dealt with both naval and aerial threats and drilled naval and aerial cooperation against submarines,” the military said.

The Israeli delegation included its Sa’ar 5 Class Corvette “INS Hanit,” Sa’ar 4.5 “INS Kidon,” “INS Romach” missile boats, and Dolphin Class submarine “INS Tanin.”

The military said the exercise’s goal was “to strengthen cooperation between the navies involved, strengthen a common operational language, and deepen shared operational knowledge,” adding that it was “another significant pillar of operational cooperation in the Middle East with the United States and other foreign navies.”

The Cypriot Defense Ministry said the drill “foster[ed] interoperability and synergies” with the participating members.

Military officials from Greece, France, Cyprus, and the United States meet on the Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar 5 Class Corvette ‘INS Hanit’ during an international naval exercise in the Mediterranean, March 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The exercise comes ahead of a major international aerial drill in Greece next week.

Seven other countries are joining Greece in its Iniochos exercise this year: the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Cyprus, Slovenia, and Austria. The exercise will begin on March 28 and is scheduled to last through April 8.

Egypt, Albania, Austria, North Macedonia, the United Kingdom, India, Kuwait, Croatia, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia will be sending observers.

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