(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Defense Ministry released a rare statement on Friday denying media reports
that talks were being held with Germany regarding the potential sale of a new
The statement clarified that since Israel was not in the midst
of talks with Germany regarding the procurement of a sixth submarine, there
were, as a result, no talks regarding an Israeli request to receive German
government financial assistance for the deal.
According to Defense News,
Israel and Germany had over the past year been discussing the possibility that
Berlin will pay for a percentage of the cost of a new submarine – a sixth for
Israel – and two new Meko-class missile ships.
In early July, however,
Israel received official word from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government that it
would not provide Israel with financial assistance in purchasing the
Dolphinclass submarine and new missile ships.
In another rare statement,
The German government, which rarely talks about defense sales, also denied it
was holding talks with Israel on subsidizing new naval vessels.
are no negotiations between Israel and Germany about submarines,” government
spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm was quoted as saying by Reuters.
currently has an operational fleet of three submarines, which were heavily
underwritten by the German government.
Another two are currently under
construction at the Keil Shipyard in Germany which were also subsidized by
Berlin and are expected to be delivered to Israel in 2012.
hoped to receive additional subsidies for two Meko-class ships it was interested
The Israeli Navy will now have to go back to the drawing
board if it wants to move ahead with plans to purchase new missile ships. One
option is to again review the Littoral Combat Ship, under development in the
United States, or to try a domestic option and have Israel Shipyards
Ltd. construct the new ships.