‘Germany willing to fund 6th Dolphin-class sub for Israel'

'Der Spiegel':Israel already has 3 Dolphin-class subs; another 2 under construction in Germany have expected delivery dates 2012 and 2013.

Dolphin submarine 311 (photo credit: reuters)
Dolphin submarine 311
(photo credit: reuters)
Germany will underwrite a third of the cost of Israel’s sixth Dolphin-class submarine, Der Spiegel reported overnight Sunday.
According to the report, Germany will contribute 135 million euros to the deal, which will provide Israel with an impressive boost to its strategic submarine fleet, reported to be capable of firing cruise missiles with nuclear warheads.
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German Defense Minister Tomas de Maiziere met in Israel last week with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak and discussed details of the deal. Der Spiegel said that the subsidy was being offered to Israel as part of reparations for the Holocaust.
Talks on the deal for the sub stalled last year after the Germans declined to underwrite it, as they had done with previous such purchases. The vessel will cost between $500m. and $700m. The submarines are considered Israel’s most sophisticated and strategic weapon.
Israel already has three Dolphin- class subs; another two are under construction in Germany with expected delivery dates of 2012 and 2013.
Germany donated Israel’s first two submarines after the First Gulf War and, according to the German press, split the cost of the third with Israel.
The new submarines – called the U212 – will be fitted with a new German technology in which the propulsion system allows for silent cruising and longer stays underwater.