Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed the newest addition to the Israel Navy into Haifa Port on Tuesday - the INS Tanin submarine.
Israel’s fourth submarine, the INS Tanin docked at 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.
"This event sends a crystal clear message to our enemies - the State of Israel is determined to face any threat any challenge at any time," Netanyahu vowed at the ceremony.
"In the face of mounting threats, we will firmly defend our borders on land with fences, in the air with domes, and at sea with submarines," he said.
Netanyahu said that, above all, Israel's fighting spirit and determination to defend the homeland would allow the country to deal with the threats at its borders.
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.
There were 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 arrived 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.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.