Israel took delivery of a fourth Dolphin-class submarine on Thursday boosting
its fleet to include equipment that employ an advanced propulsion system used
for silent cruising.
In a ceremony at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft
shipyard in Kiel, the INS Tanin was lowered into the water. A high-level Israeli
defense delegation attended the event including OC Navy V.-Adm. Ram Rothberg,
Defense Ministry director-general Udi Shani and other senior Israeli and German
The ceremony marked the official delivery and transfer of
responsibility of the submarine to the Israel Navy. A bottle of champagne was
broken on the side of the ship as is customary upon the launching of new navy
With the delivery of the submarine, the Israel Navy will begin
training on the ship ahead of its arrival in Israel by mid-2013.
a major boost in our capabilities,” said a senior naval officer, speaking to
reporters by telephone from Kiel. “Submarines are strategic platforms that allow
the navy to operate in the Mediterranean, as well as in any other region in
which its presence is required.”
Israel’s submarines are the military’s
most expensive platform and are often referred to as the country’s second-strike
doomsday weapon due to their reported ability to fire cruise missiles tipped
with nuclear warheads.
Germany donated the first two submarines after the
First Gulf War and split the cost of the third with Israel. The navy’s three
submarines employ a diesel-electric propulsion system, which requires them to
resurface frequently to recharge their batteries.
The fourth submarine
and the additional two under construction will be fitted with a new propulsion
system combining a conventional diesel lead-acid battery system and an
air-independent propulsion system used for slow, silent cruising, with fuel
cells for oxygen and hydrogen storage.
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