Israel mounted a battery of its Iron Dome anti-missile system on INS LAHAV corvette on Monday, as the vaunted rocket interceptor went operational at sea for the first time.
Israel Air Force Brigadier General Zvika Haimovitch said the battery fitted to the corvette Lahav underwent a successful “live-fire test” and would be a valuable asset in securing offshore natural gas fields.
“Today the IAF put another operational layer to defend and protect Israel’s energy assets in the Mediterranean Sea,” he told journalists in English.
“This is a significant milestone,” he added.
The air force is responsible for Israel’s ground-based anti-missile defences.
Israel has major gas fields off its northern coast and is building valuable infrastructure to get the fuel out of the ground and onto land, all within range of rockets from its deadly foe Hezbollah’s Lebanon bases.
The Tamar field, discovered in 2009 and which began production in 2013, has estimated reserves of up to 238 billion cubic metres (8.4 trillion cubic feet).
Leviathan, discovered in 2010 and set to begin production in 2019, is estimated to hold 18.9 trillion cubic feet (535 billion cubic metres) of natural gas, along with 34.1 million barrels of condensate.
Israel has invited bids for another 24 offshore oil-and-gas exploration licences it hopes will bring more big finds in the Mediterranean as it strives to become an energy exporter.
Israel, INS Lahav, ship, Iron Dome, future, warship, shipbase, antiair,Air Force, navy, naval news,israeli navy,Mediterranean, sea, gas, Lebanon, defense, rocket, missile