‘If you don’t hear about us, it means we completed our mission’

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January 13, 2016 07:11

Soon to be submarine commander: Arrival of ‘INS Rahav’ from German shipyard ‘opens all operational doors’ to us.

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Dakar submarine

Israeli Navy memorial for Dakar submarine . (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)

The arrival of Israel’s fifth Dolphin-class submarine, and second new-generation air independent propulsion platform has doubled the navy’s long-range operational capabilities, a soon-to-be submarine commander told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Lt.-Cmdr. M is a former deputy commander of the INS Tannin, Israel’s first air independent propulsion submarine, and is currently training in a submarine command course.

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Commenting on the arrival of the INS Rahav in Haifa’s submarine dock at Haifa naval base, he said: “Today is a historic day, and the completion of a long process.
PM Netanyahu at the INS Rahav submarine arrival ceremony

We have a fleet of submarines – something we’ve been dreaming about having for years. The INS Rahav brings new components of sea power to the State of Israel.

As someone who went on this journey with the INS Tannin, I can say, I am sure the sailors who arrived today from Germany are excited, exhausted and proud.”

The INS Rahav left Germany on December 17, and is named after the second submarine to serve in the Israel Navy. It traveled from the English Channel to Haifa, submerged at all times, and, like the INS Tannin, can stay underwater for a month, and when needed, even longer.

Lt.-Cmdr. M described its capabilities as “an operational revolution. We discovered how they improved covertness, and it is unbelievable. It opens doors in all operational areas. The sea is the limit.

We have doubled our power, and many future missions remain ahead of us.”

The submarine, which can carry 50 sailors on board, can reach any location “independently, or with assistance,” M said. “For most missions, silence is golden.

If you did not hear about us, it means we apparently completed the mission. We go out to sea and no one hears about it. If need be, we can carry out more noisy missions. I hope we never have to.”

A native of Haifa, the 30-year-old father of two has been an officer in submarines since his mandatory IDF service, and is now waiting to take the helm of one.

M supervised the preparation of the INS Tannin at its Kiel assembly dock in Germany, and traveled with it to Israel.

Speaking at the ceremony welcoming the submarine, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.

Gadi Eisenkot said the navy would take part in any future conflict together with the other IDF branches, fulfilling offensive, defensive and intelligence roles.

Navy Commander V.-Adm. Ram Rothberg added that the next Dolphin submarine to arrive in Israel will be named the INS Dakar, in memory of the submarine that sank as it journeyed from Britain to Israel in 1968 with its crew on board.


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