The first of three German-made Dolphin II class submarines will soon reach Israel, Israel Navy Commander-in-Chief Vice-Admiral Ram Rothberg said last night during the closing ceremony for a captain's course at the Haifa naval base. This will be the Israel Navy's fourth S-Class submarine and will be called the INS Tanin (Crocodile).
Vice-Admiral Rothberg said, "At this very moment, after leaving Germany, a fourth S-Class submarine for the Israeli Navy is making its way to the country."
He explained what the new and sophisticated submarine would mean in terms of strengthening the Israeli Navy. "The submarine can dive deeper and further and for longer and work more powerfully than anything we have previously known.
The Israel Navy's S-Class Dolphin is considered the world's most advanced submarine and the most expensive war weapon in the IDF arsenal.
In February Haifa Base Commander Brigadier General Eli Sharvit said that in addition to the Dolphin submarine that would be delivered later in the year, two more such submarines would join the Israel Navy in the coming years. "This procurement is part of our five-year plan for taking in three new German-made Dolphin submarines that will increase the Israel Navy fleet to six submarines."
He added that an Israeli crew was in Germany to develop the project. Sharvit said that the new submarine is fitted with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, allowing extended underwater operations for weeks on end without the need to surface or snort - far longer than the submarines in the current fleet can.
The three submarines are being built for the Israeli Navy by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel, Germany. They are reportedly among the largest underwater craft being built in Germany since the end of World War II.
The German weekly "Der Spiegel" reported that the submarines have a nuclear capability and are part of Israel's weaponry to counter the nuclear threat from Iran.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has denied that the submarines have a nuclear capability. However, research among senior figures in German's Defense Ministry has indicated that the submarines can carry nuclear weapons.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 3, 2014
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