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Warships to be fitted with Iron Dome to protect gas rigs

The IDF intends to install Iron Dome defense systems on several of its most advanced warships in order to protect Israel’s offshore gas rigs, Haaretz reports.

The navy will also soon conduct a training simulation in which a mock missile is fired at a warship, in order to test the defense system’s ability to deal with a threat of massive rocket fire at the gas fields.

Intelligence gathering via satellite imagery will also be increased around the gas rigs.

Gas rigs in the Tamar field, off the coast of Israel, in June 2014. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Gas rigs in the Tamar field, off the coast of Israel, in June 2014. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

The Tamar gas field, discovered in 2009, is believed to hold roughly 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Leviathan, discovered one year later, is thought to be more than twice as big, at 22 trillion cubic feet. They are two of the biggest fields in the Mediterranean Sea and could meet Israel’s natural gas needs until the middle of the next century.

The navy fears a scenario in which a missile fired from shore would strike one of the strategically critical rigs and cause significant damage.

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