'We will operate off any enemy coast to protect Israel,' navy chief says

By
September 22, 2014 16:38

Adm. Ram Rothberg speaks at memorial ceremony held by INS Tanin, newest submarine, for sunken INS Dakar.

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Israel's new submarine arrives at Haifa Israel Navy base (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Israel's new submarine arrives at Haifa Israel Navy base (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

The Israel Navy will operate in any “enemy coast” to safeguard Israel,” OC Navy Adm. Ram Rothberg vowed on Monday, during a memorial ceremony held at sea by sailors from the fleet’s newest submarine, the INS Tanin, for the personnel of the INS Dakar, which sank 435 km. off the coast of Haifa in 1968.

“We will guard, protect, and act in any enemy coast, and fight bravely for the navy and the state of Israel,” Rothberg said.

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IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz attended the ceremony, held over the spot where the INS Dakar sank with all hands on its way from England to Israel. “Here, in the heart of the Mediterranean, we lower the anchor and stop to meet a new naval force on its way to its home port on the Israeli coast,” Gantz said, referring to the INS Tanin.

“Without a doubt, this force, operationally and strategically, is very important for Israel, the IDF and the navy,” he continued. “More than four decades passed since INS Dakar’s last voyage...Although the threats have changed, and today you have the most modern equipment, the most advanced technologies, and the highest quality means, the mission remains the same mission that the INS Dakar personnel were sent on, and the responsibility is the same. To protect the Israeli coast, sea waters, and working with all of the IDF’s branches to achieve the relevant goals.”

Psalms were read at the memorial.

Israel’s fourth submarine, the INS Tanin is en route to the Haifa Naval Base after leaving the German shipyard where it was built earlier this month.

The first of the navy’s second- generation Dolphin-class submarine, the Tanin uses air independent propulsion technology to stay submerged for longer than the three older Dolphin-class vessels.

“Despite being conventional, its propulsion system allows the INS Tanin to stay underwater for many days, making it more covert,” a naval source said this month. “The fuel cells on board this submarine significantly extend its ability to be underwater without the need to resurface.”

A fifth submarine, the INS Rahav, is expected to arrive at Haifa Port in six to seven months, and a sixth submarine will join the fleet by the end of the decade, the officer said.

There are some 50 submarine personnel on board the INS Tanin, which left Germany to embark on a voyage spanning more than 7,500 kilometers, most of which it spent underwater.

The INS Tanin is set to arrive at a specialized dock built by the navy, which allows for the advanced submarines to be kept separately, secretly and in a convenient manner. The dock allows for flexibility, and enables the submarines to be on call 24 hours a day.

The new submarines will bring with them many unique capabilities, such as lengthy intelligence gathering missions.

“Submarines bring a level of intelligence to Israel that cannot be achieved by other units,” Lt.-Cmdr. Y., who was head of the navy’s submarine school until his retirement from the service last week, told The Jerusalem Post earlier this month.

“Drones that fly in the air can be shot down,” he said.

“But a submarine can stay in enemy territory for weeks, and no one knows it’s there. It can lurk off coastal regions without any problem at all. The level of intelligence this brings is not heard about by the public. All of our operations build on past operations.”

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