The Israeli and French navies have held a joint exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, Maariv reported on Sunday. This was the first such exercise in 55 years.
During the past three weeks, two Israeli warships, the INS Kidon and INS Eilat, took part in a three-day training exercise in the port of Toulon in the south of France. The newspaper pointed out that France's Dixmude amphibious assault ship will arrive in the port of Haifa on Sunday prior to the second part of the exercise, which will take place next week.
Naval sources said that the training includes "cooperation with helicopters, firing cannons and training with fighter jets to simulate missiles fired at the ships; a mass casualty event, the rescue of casualties and more." Such cooperation, one source told Israel's Channel 7, is unique. "It has increased the preparedness of Israeli sailors."
As part of the exercise, the Commander of the Israeli Navy, Major General Eli Sharvit, has met with the Chief of Staff of the French Navy, Admiral Christophe Prazuck.
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"In the current age, in which there are many revolutions and changes, the view of the Israeli Navy needs to be global," Sharvit explained. "As such, the joint exercise with the French fleet, which gave both sides knowledge and new, meaningful capabilities, represents another turning point in strengthening the navy from the standpoint of its international activities."
Relations between France and Israel have improved since Emmanuel Macron was elected as President of the Republic.