The Israeli Navy last week concluded a drill aimed at testing its vessels’ ability to respond to an attack on one of the country’s offshore oil and gas platforms.
The drill was led by the Haifa-based 3rd (missile boat) flotilla and joined by Sa’ar 4,5 corvette INS Kidon and Sa’ar 5 corvette INS Lahav.
Two major objectives of the exercise were to test the ships’ missile-firing capabilities.
The drill was also an opportunity to verify the recent radar upgrades undertaken on the INS Kidon which was fitted with the IAI-Elta developed ELM 2258 Advanced Lightweight Phased Array (ALPHA) radar. The radar is also referred to as Fire Sickle by the Israeli Navy and guides the Barak-1 surface-to-air missiles.
In a video shared by the Israeli Navy, INS Kidon can be seen launching a Barak-1 missile after detecting a drone target launched from what appears to be a ship flight deck. Seconds later, the drone target is destroyed by the missile close to the water surface.
INS Lahav, the other ship taking part in the exercise, successfully struck a target simulating an attacking boat with a Harpoon missile.
The Israeli Navy is constantly improving its abilities to protect its offshore oil and gas zone which is often under threat from Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The navy’s newest Sa’ar 6 corvettes which began construction in February this year will carry two Iron Dome launchers to counter the threat from Hezbollah’s shore-launched rockets.