For the first time since its installation, Israel’s Noble Dina naval drill included the countries of Cyprus and France; The drill is designed to prepare for maritime military conflict and to strengthen Israel’s ties with other militaries in the region.

On Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) concluded its annual naval drill dubbed ‘Noble Dina’, which for the very first time included both Cyprus and France. Noble Dina emphasizes preparation for maritime military activity, specifically in areas related to ship-to-ship combat, search and rescue, and even submarine confrontation.

Back in 2017, head of international cooperation for the Israeli sea service, Commander Assaf Boneh, stressed the significance of this drill in an interview with Defense News saying, “It’s one of our most important exercises that allows us to hone our proficiencies in very complex scenarios. We’ll be training in a vast area from Greece to Israel, and this gives us a lot of room to practice multiple scenarios that require jointness.”

This exercise is especially significant when considering the present hostility between Israel, its allies, and Erdogan’s Turkey. The Turkish military has trespassed international waters multiple times in the last 24 months, often claiming to be in the pursuit of oil resources.

As noted by The Times of Israel, head of IDF naval operations, Rear Admiral Eyal Harel said, “Over the past week, the Navy led a large-scale exercise in which it implemented capabilities in underwater warfare, search and rescue, convoy escort and surface combat. These exercises are of paramount importance in strengthening the Navy’s connection with foreign fleets who share common interests.”

Noble Dina took place west of the Island of Cyprus. Between Israel, Cyprus, France, and Greece, six ships (including submarines) were involved in the drill.