The Israel Navy has unveiled details of its new underwater missions unit, which is designed to conduct sabotage and reconnaissance operations.

Unit commander Major Oren said the unit is responsible for clearing naval mines and searching for remains of soldiers lost at sea, and that it has also been battling Palestinian fighters from the Gaza Strip.

“We are a small unit, one that is not very well known, but one that is extremely significant in wartime,” he said. “If our enemies plant the water with mines, we have to clean it up. We participate every year in more than 100 experiments below sea level.”

The unit participated in an operation that involved locating Katyusha-class rockets fired from Egypt towards Israel in April 2010 and found a Grad BM-21 rocket that landed in the Gulf of Eilat.

In 2010 the unit conducted an exercise, which included foreign naval personnel, to provide supplies to a submarine dozens of metres below the surface, according to The World Tribune.

The unit was trained to repair the hull of ships while in the water and has helped inspect and repair vessels such as the missile boat NS Lahav.