The large, heavy, and advanced ships of the Israel Navy play an integral role in a variety of the IDF (Zahal)’s missions. During Operation Protective Edge, one third of the artillery fired by the IDF (Zahal) was from the sea. Furthermore, during Operation Full Disclosure, the Israel Navy intercepted an Iranian weapons shipment aboard the Klos-C vessel. These Navy ships are extremely important and couldn’t operate smoothly if they weren’t properly cared for.
A navy ship reaches the harbour and pulls in between two platforms. Suddenly, the water beneath the vessel begins to churn and a large v-shaped apparatus rises from beneath the ship. The ship is lifted out of the water as a giant wooden platform rises above the water. Workers tie ropes to the ship and pull it into a warehouse big enough to accommodate the size of the vessel. This is not a scene from a futuristic movie; this is what happens on a regular basis at the Israel Navy’s shipyard.
The shipyard is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the Navy’s vessels. It essentially serves as a huge garage for storing ships. The central shipyard is located in one of the Navy’s main bases on the Gulf of Haifa, but there are similar shipyards on all of Israel’s maritime borders. The shipyard is made up of laboratories, workshops and hangers the height of small buildings, big enough to fit the Navy’s giant ships can fit inside of them.
No Shipyard, No Navy
“Here in the shipyard, we’re responsible for repairing all of the Navy’s vessels,” said Lt. Col. Kobi, head of operations at the shipyard. “We take care of everything here, inside and out. We clean the vessels, improve them and prepare them to go out to sea. We repair the sophisticated technological systems including engines, clocks and weapons. In a nutshell, we’re experts at fixing everything.”
The engine of a Navy ship
Hundreds of individuals work vigorously at the shipyard; some are IDF (Zahal) soldiers and others are civilians and professionals who are the best in their fields. “We have around 50 different departments here”, said Lt. Col. Kobi. “Everyone knows their job very well. Whether you are handling a submarine or a small boat, everything here has a huge impact.”
The work at the shipyard never ends, and there are always boats that need to be taken care of. “We have vessels that are in need of routine treatments and there are vessels that have a problem and need to be fixed. Additionally, the shipyard’s workers join many of the naval vessels in order to repair mishaps at sea.”
Operation Protective Edge
The shipyard played a crucial part during Operation Protective Edge. “Like every other place in the IDF (Zahal), we worked day and night,” said Lt. Col. Kobi. “People here didn’t take any breaks and came in on their days off. Thanks to the worker’s dedication, we reached an excellent situation. We were waiting for the vessels to arrive and they weren’t waiting for us to finish our work. We spread out through all of our branches and quickly took care of every vessel that came in.”
The shipyard greatly contributes to the operational competence of the IDF (Zahal) and continuously works to repair the army’s vessels.