Israel takes delivery of 4th submarine in Germany

Champagne bottle is broken on side of the ship at ceremony in Kiel; navy will begin training on sub ahead of its arrival in Israel.

May 3, 2012 16:59
1 minute read.
The INS Tanin submarine is launched in Kiel

The INS Tanin submarine is launched in Kiel, Germany 390. (photo credit: Defense Ministry)


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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 naval officers.

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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 vessels.

With the delivery of the submarine, the Israel Navy will begin training on the ship ahead of its arrival in Israel by mid-2013.

“This is 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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