What do the Israel Navy’s fast patrol squadrons do?

My latest update for Jane’s Defense Weekly is about the Israel Navy taking delivery of advanced fast patrol boats, called Super Dvora MK III.

It’s worth taking a brief look at what the Israel Navy’s fast patrol boats do.

They operate in 3 squadrons:

  • Northern (covering the Lebanese border)
  • Southern (patrolling the waters off Gaza)
  • Eilat (Red Sea sector)
An Israel Navy Squadron 916 (Gaza sector) fast patrol boat. Credit: IDF Spokesman Unit

Core missions:

  • Securing the Israeli coastline
  • Responding to suspicious sea movement and intercepting such traffic
  • Working with the army and air force to intercept attempts to infiltrate Israel on the coast
  • Countering the underwater commando threat posed by Hamas and Hezbollah
  • Disrupting attempts at arms smuggling
  • Helping to secure offshore gas drilling rigs
  • Defending themselves against rockets, surface-to-sea missiles, and swarms of booby trapped small boats – a tactic Hamas is preparing, based on an Iranian naval combat doctrine.

These vessels have integrated their command and control systems closely with those of the Ground Forces, so that they can work together, as part of a single network.

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