The INS “Tanin” Dolphin Class Submarine was deployed in the Red Sea for a naval training drill accompanied by the INS Sa’ar 5 “Hanit” Class Corvette and the INS Sa’ar 4.5 “Kidon,” as part of the IDF “Chariots of Fire” large-scale month-long exercise.
By Erin Viner
“The vessels conducted joint missions aimed at achieving maritime superiority, while simultaneously maintaining freedom of action in the region and increasing the area of operation of the Israeli Navy,” said the IDF in a statement obtained by TV7.
After conclusion of the exercise, Commander in Chief of the Israeli Navy, Vice Admiral (VADM) David Saar Salama said that “Israeli Navy personnel from the Missile Ship and Submarine flotillas” had conducted “a complex and lengthy training drill in the Red Sea.”
The rare exercise “simulated various scenarios, including achieving maritime superiority and maintaining freedom of maneuvering in the area,” said the Israeli defense official, stressing that, “the Israeli Navy will continue to strengthen its operational capabilities and widen its areas of operation.”
The naval drill comes follows other military measures in the event Israel may be forced to conduct a full-scale, pre-emptive aerial bombardment on nuclear installations and other strategic assets deep within the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that “dozens of Israeli Air Force fighter jets conducted aerial drills over the Mediterranean Sea to practice a long-range flight and striking distant targets” earlier this week, also as part of the Chariots of Fire exercise.
Over 100 aircraft and other aerial assets simulated “a long-range flight, aerial refueling and striking distant targets,” said the IDF, to “accelerate preparations for multi-arena combat scenarios both near and far.”
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi visited Cyprus for the purpose of overseeing ongoing wide-scale drills of maneuvers in unfamiliar terrain – simulating extensive ground maneuvers far beyond Israeli territory.
Lt. Gen. (Res.) Gantz described Chariots of Fire as constituting “the peak of one of the largest and most wide-scale exercises which we conducted over the years,” underscoring that he was “impressed by the commanders and the advanced capabilities” and that all citizens of Israel should be reassured that “we have a well-trained military that is prepared for the challenges that we will face in the future.”
Thanking Cyprus for hosting the IDF, Jerusalem’s top defense official explained that the training not only assists the improvement of the Israeli military but also illustrates the strategic alliance between the two countries.
In conclusion, Minister Gantz warned that, “In parallel to our routine security activity, the IDF is continuously preparing for missions and separate campaigns in separate sectors, and it will strike a heavy blow on anyone who seeks to threaten the citizens of the state of Israel.”
A senior Israeli naval officer underscored to TV7 the strategic significance of maintaining freedom of operation in the Red Sea – at a time when Jerusalem’s arch enemy, namely the Islamic Republic of Iran, is repeatedly disrupting maritime shipping throughout the region.