The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet kicked off its annual joint exercise with the Israeli Navy, called “Intrinsic Defender,” in Haifa on Sunday.
More than 50 U.S. service members will participate in this year’s exercise, which will involve explosive ordnance disposal, mine countermeasures, maritime and global health management, underwater construction, maritime surveillance and vessel boarding procedures, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
“Israel is one of our most capable maritime partners and these exercises further underscore historic military cooperation achieved in recent years,” said U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “Training and operating together strengthens regional maritime security and stability.”
As Israel’s adversaries equip themselves with growing numbers of advanced anti-ship cruise missiles, the Israel Navy’s Weapons Systems Department must keep up with the threats and ensure that countermeasures are installed onboard Israeli ships in time.
“The department’s technological personnel is made up of student-soldiers in their early 20s who have completed degrees in electrical engineering, mathematics and physics, as part of their military enlistment program,” said JNS.
Adversaries such as Hezbollah, the Syrian military and Iranian military forces are upgrading their weapons, and the Israel Navy is involved in ambitious projects to make sure that they are two steps ahead. This means upgrading an array of the navy’s own systems continuously.
“Everything from air-defense systems, electronic warfare, radars, sonars, command and control, missiles and other systems must be developed quickly enough to allow Israeli naval ships to operate in highly threatened environments,” said JNS.
The Israel Navy has long ceased preparing purely for navy-on-navy combat, although this remains an important scenario for it. A central challenge, however, stems from non-state terror armies like Hezbollah, armed with radar-guided anti-ship cruise missiles. An organization that has this type of attack capability does not need to maintain its own fleet, the source pointed out. “They have long-range missiles … they can fire and forget.” Many of these missiles have been supplied by Iran. “This has changed the rules of the game,” said a navy officer.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager