The problem is huge. The potential solutions are now being studied. What is very clear even at this early stage is the fact that the Israeli airforce (IAF) will have a major role in defending the newly discovered gas reservoirs off the Israeli shore from terrorist attacks.
The task of course is one that the Israeli navy will have to perform but the aerial elements will be major and in the current situation this is one hell of a task.
The Israeli navy’s missile boats carry helicopters and navy “spotters” are flying daily missions aboard the IAF Westwind 1124 (Seasacn) maritime patrol aircraft.
In recent years, the IAF has begun using the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron unmanned air system (UAS) for maritime patrols.
But all these systems were enough to foil terrorist attacks on Israel from the sea front. The problem became different in scale and intensity, after the huge gas reservoirs were discovered off the Israeli shore. The two drilling floating rigs are potential targets and when the oil will be piped to the shore in a few years, the threat will increase dramatically. The problem is not theoretical. Hassan Nasrallha, the leader of the Hizbula in Lebanon, claims that part of the underwater gas reservoirs belongs to Lebanon, a claim that is not supported by any international law but is enough to increase the concerns.
If I may predict, the aerial force of the Israeli navy will expand in platforms and capabilities in the coming years.