The IDF Website has published photographs of the IDF's unique underwater bell chamber, which enables military deep-sea divers to carry out missions at depths of up to 100 meters.
The diving bell allows divers from the "Yaltam" Underwater Missions Unit to operate at great depths despite the challenging environment. It allows the diver to communicate with units on the surface, to breathe air that is suited to the depth he is at, to receive heat and to transmit real-time video of what he is seeing to the diving inspectors, via headcam.
"The Bell is a diving platform intended for meaningful depths, which allows us to carry out operational activity in extreme conditions," said Yaltam Commander Lt. Col. Ido Kaufman. "Use of the Bell means one is carrying out a controlled and protected dive, which gives the diver tools that allow him to carry out complex missions, along with heavy tools for rescue and welding. The Bell requires synchronization between numerous elements that operate professionally and with precision, so that the diver can carry out the mission successfully."
The deep-water diver has a limited time to carry out his mission, because of the water pressure that exists at depths of tens of meters. In order to best utilize this time, it is possible to connect two divers to the same system simultaneously, along with the equipment they require.
The Bell enables the diver to weld combat systems underwater without worrying about the depth he is at, the air he is breathing and the temperature around him, the IDF Website sums up.
Only the Navy possesses the system, and Yaltam is the only unit in Israel capable of operational activity at such great depths. "The dive is managed from the ship so that the diver concentrates on the mission and is able to complete it in time," explained Chief the unit's combat supervisor, Warrant Officer Moni Gadi. "The primary mental preparation for the missions that the unit deals with is experience. That is why the training period for operational dives is intensive and long. The basic requirement from the diver is that he should have the ability to bring the best solution in the shortest possible time. We work in a dangerous medium, so our professionalism is a must."