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Israel, Greece and Cyprus hold naval drill with a participation of France

According to information published by Associated Press on March 15, 2021, the Israeli military said that it has conducted a joint naval exercise with Greece and Cyprus, in the latest sign of increased cooperation among three countries that increasingly view Turkey as a rival in the Mediterranean Sea.


According to information published by Associated Press on March 15, 2021, the Israeli military said that it has conducted a joint naval exercise with Greece and Cyprus, in the latest sign of increased cooperation among three countries that increasingly view Turkey as a rival in the Mediterranean Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Dolphin-class submarine of Israeli Navy during "Noble Dina" (Picture source: Twitter account of Tsahal IDF)


It said the “Noble Dina” exercise, which was led by Israel and also included France, covered “anti-submarine procedures, search and rescue scenarios, and a scenario simulating battle between ships.” The exercise was concluded on Thursday.

Israel, Greece and Cyprus have taken a number of steps in recent months to cement ties, including advancing plans to build a 2,000 megawatt undersea electricity cable and a 1,900-kilometer (1,300-mile) undersea gas pipeline. The three countries’ defense ministers met in November and agreed to increase military cooperation.

Greece and Cyprus are embroiled in a dispute with Turkey, which has sent gas prospecting vessels into waters claimed by Greece and drilling ships into an area where Cyprus claims exclusive rights. The tension brought NATO allies Greece and Turkey close to open conflict last year, but tensions have eased since then.

The Greek navy was present, with the frigate HS Adrias, the fast attack ship HS Grigoropoulos, the submarine HS Pipinos, a helicopter and a maritime patrol plane P-3C Orion. On the Israeli side, a Dolphin-class submarine was engaged as well as the INS Romach ship.

It was the first participation of Auvergne (D654) which is an Aquitaine-class frigate of the French Navy. The Aquitaine class were developed from the FREMM multipurpose frigate program.

The Dolphin class is a diesel-electric submarine constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) in Kiel, Germany, for the Israeli Navy. The first boats of the class were based on the export-only German 209-class submarines, but modified and enlarged. The Dolphin 1 sub-class is slightly larger than the German Navy Type 212 in length and displacement. The three newer air-independent propulsion (AIP) equipped boats are similar to the Type 212 vessels in underwater endurance, but are 12 metres (39 ft) longer, nearly 500 tonnes heavier in submerged displacement and have a larger crew than either the Type 212 or the Type 214.

The Dolphin 2-class are the largest submarines to have been built in Germany since World War II. The Dolphin class boats are the most expensive single vehicles in the Israel Defense Forces.

Each Dolphin-class submarine is capable of carrying a combined total of up to 16 torpedoes and Popeye Turbo submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). The cruise missiles have a range of at least 1,500 km (930 mi) and are widely believed to be equipped with a 200 kiloton nuclear warhead containing up to 6 kilograms (13 lb) of plutonium.The latter, if true, would provide Israel with an offshore nuclear second strike capability.