Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) recently completed exercises with Israeli Navy units in the Eastern Mediterranean.

On 15 February, SNMG2 units along with INS Kidon and INS Sufa departed Haifa and executed a serialised schedule of exercises.

The PASSEX (Passing Exercise) concluded with a ‘sail-past’ to wish farewell to the units involved in the exercise.

NATO say in a release:

“This PASSEX concludes the collaboration between SNMG2 units and the Israeli Navy after a three-day port visit to Haifa, Israel, between 12-15 February 2021. During their stay in Haifa, coordination meetings between SNMG2 and Israeli Navy representatives were carried out under strict COVID-19 prevention measures. Engagements included briefings to Israeli Navy about NATO standard procedures including towing ship manoeuvres, among others.”

Quoted in the aforementioned release, Rear Admiral Manuel Aguirre, Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two, said:

“This PASSEX has been the second interaction between the Israeli Navy and NATO in less than three months. The cooperation between NATO and partners like Israel are essential to contribute to NATO’s success and increase the security of the international community. Sharing information as well as exercising together are essential tools to reach interoperability, reinforce cohesion and build trust between NATO and its partners.”

SNMG2 is currently composed by ESPS Cristobal Colon, ITS Fasan and HS Kountouriotis.
“This visit was extremely beneficial for both sides, as we discussed common strategic issues between NATO Alliance and the Israeli Navy, as well as deepening the understanding of NATO protocols and procedures”, said Rear Admiral Guy Goldfarb, Commanding Officer of Haifa Naval Base.
“The Israeli Navy welcomes cooperation with NATO, which has noticeably increased in the recent years. I am confident that due to our common maritime interests and goals, the professional relationship between NATO and the Isreali Navy will continue to grow and strengthen,” he added.

As an active member of the Mediterranean Dialogue for more than 25 years, cooperation between Israel and NATO have included a broad spectrum of areas like search and rescue, humanitarian relief, border security, counter-terrorism and medical cooperation, among others.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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farouk (@guest_540840)
3 years ago

The Israeli Saar 5 ships come across as somewhat competent ships which are able to punch well above their weight, the new Saar 6 ones look even better packing an impressive electronic defensive suite a 32 VLS missile system for AAA and a 40 VLS system for its naval version of Iron dome and a 16 VLS (I think) for its Gabriel ASMs, add a 76mm gun at the front and a couple of 25mm Typhoon Weapon Stations and that’s a lot of firepower to squeeze into a 1900 tonne ship.

AlexS (@guest_540843)
3 years ago
Reply to  farouk

Their ships don’t need much range so they have margin to put a comparatively oversized weapon system.

Leo (@guest_541720)
3 years ago
Reply to  farouk

You’re right. The amount of firepower they always seem to manage to pack into their vessels is amazing.