Israeli navy (IDF) holds special exercises with their Italian counterparts in order to perfect joint methods for rescuing the crew of a sunken submarine, reports Ynet.
This type of exercise is rare among navies, and the first of its kind in Israel. The drill, held off the coast of Atlit, was conducted with the special cooperation of the Italian navy – one of the few in the world that maintains the ability to extract a sunken submarine’s crew.
The unique training drill, which lasted three days, tasked troops with rescuing 40 crew members from a Navy submarine at a depth of 60 meters. After a year of planning ahead of the drill, the navy made history, and became one of the few fleets in the world to ever carry out such an exercise.
Israel does not maintain the capability to extract submarine crews from the depths of the sea, mainly due to the serious price tags which accompany the resuce equipment. The low probability of a submarine sinking has led the IDF to base its training for crew extractions on a limited number of representatives who had been sent to NATO courses.
“This is an international event. Only a few navies, including Italy, NATO and the United States, have these extraction vehicles,” navy officials stated. The commander of the Italian forces in the exercise held the rank of colonel. 100 navy soldiers and Israeli doctors took part in the exercise and conclusions from the drill will be shared with other naval forces around the world.