“We will upgrade the weapons of these new submarines,” a source in the Israel
Navy stated, as the military prepares to receive two more advanced submarines In
2014, the INS Tanin – Israel’s fourth German-made Dolphin-class submarine – will
enter the navy’s service.
A few months later, the INS Rahav will join the
fleet. The sixth new generation Dolphin is still being manufactured at a German
The navy has been working with Israeli defense companies to
develop a range of sea and underwater combat technologies, from radars to
electronic warfare capabilities.
Despite budget cuts, the IDF is in the
midst of a multi-year force buildup process, and the navy is going through an
unprecedented phase marked by weapons upgrades, the source said.
are staying up late into the night around here, because a lot of new technology
is being introduced,” he said.
Innovations include a new long-range air
defense system that is being installed on missile ships this year.
now on we’ll have the ability of destroying incoming threats dozens of
kilometers away. It won’t be like before, when we were without independent air
defenses. We won’t have to trouble the air force,” the source
Coastal electronic sensors that feed data to navy regional command
and control centers are also being improved. Engineers from the navy’s Weapons
Systems Department – some of them former sailors with operational experience –
are managing the armament projects.
The navy prefers to purchase existing
defense products and tailor them according to needs, the source said.
if this is not possible, the navy works with the Defense Ministry to develop new
weapons systems from scratch.
The Weapons Systems Department, tasked with
locating technological solutions to combat needs, often stretches the limits of
its ability and finds a willing partner in Israeli defense companies, pushing
technological innovation to the brink.
“This is how we safeguard our
relative edge over our enemies,” said the source.
As Israel’s Exclusive
Economic Zone in the eastern Mediterranean is filling up with large-scale
natural gas drilling, the navy is expecting the government to approve a budget
that will add four missile ships, drones, unmanned sea vessels and patrol air
craft to protect it.
The zone is the size of the State of Israel, and it
will up be to the navy to defend this vital national asset from terrorist
threats and hostile states.
“We’re being called up to tackle a
challenging mission,” the source said, referring to the EEZ.
to be able to send a ship to inspect suspicious traffic there. There’s nothing
like personal contact.
The ship must be able to arrive and direct its
cannons at suspicious movements.”
Without this kind of security, there
will be no international investment in the gas drilling, the source
The navy has been hailed by defense chiefs for launching
classified, toppriority missions far from Israel’s shores.
whatever is needed so that the mission’s goal is met. Even if we need to be very
creative, on the border of the imaginary,” the source said.
exotic things don’t blow up,” he added, hinting at the most advanced
Additional innovations include the phased array radar system, in
which thousands of small antennas are linked up together to face four directions
and direct an electromagnetic ray in various directions, instead of spinning
around like a traditional radar.
The navy developed these systems
together with the Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of
Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, and Elta Systems, a subsidiary of
Israel Aerospace Industries.
“We must be ahead of the other side. It’s
always good to keep the gap as large as possible,” the source
Most important, he stressed, is the personnel that makes up
the Israel Navy.
“We have a family-like connection, making the grinding
work easier. We relate to each other at eye level in the navy’s culture,
irrespective of rank. We invest in our people and in our technology.
defense industries have been a caring partner, and go above and beyond for us,”