Israel and Germany unveiled the fifth Dolphin-class submarine constructed for the
Israel Navy at a ceremony at the German port of Kiel on Monday.
submarine – called the INS Rahav – is the most expensive defense platform ever
purchased by Israel. The vessel is set to undertake several long-range
classified missions that are critical for Israel’s security.
submarine is viewed by the navy as an important “force multiplier” that will
enable Israel to cope with threats in the increasingly unstable Middle East
According to foreign reports, the navy’s Dolphins also provide
Israel with nuclear second-strike capabilities, as they can travel far from
Israel’s territorial waters and are reportedly able to carry long-range cruise
missiles tipped with nuclear warheads.
Some defense analysts consider the
submarines to be a crucial aspect of Israeli nuclear deterrence vis-à-vis
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed the announcement,
calling the submarines “a strong, strategic tool for the IDF.”
of Israel,” said the prime minister, “is ready to act anytime, anywhere – on
land, sea and air – in order to ensure the security of Israel’s
Among their many capabilities, submarines can launch
conventional missile attacks on near and distant targets, fire torpedoes at
various naval vessels and engage in intelligence-gathering.
Dolphin-class subs can remain submerged longer than their
The INS Rahav, together with the INS Tanin – the fourth
Dolphin sub, delivered to Israel in 2012 – and the sixth sub, which is still
being built, will cost a total of some 1.4 billion Euro ($1.8 billion). The
German government is reportedly covering a third of the cost.
ceremony was attended by Israel Navy Adm. Ram Rothberg, Defense Ministry
director-general Cmdr. (res.) Udi Shani and senior German
The ceremony follows many years of development, and the
submarine is expected to arrive at an Israeli port over the coming year. It must
undergo further work before it can become operational, said the
“The INS Rahav is one of the most advanced submarines in the
world,” said the Defense Ministry in a statement on Monday.
“It is a
versatile platform which can adapt to many and varied missions. The fleet of
submarines forms a long arm for the [Israel] Navy, the IDF, and the State of
Israel,” the ministry said.
All year round, Israel’s submarines engage in
vital operations near and far, and under a fog of secrecy, the ministry
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.