Jerusalem’s 2013 purchase of 6 Dolphin-II class submarines was made using an incredibly generous discount, with 1st 3 being delivered as a gift.
A fourth German-made Dolphin II class submarine will reach Israel in next few days, Navy Commander-in-Chief Vice-Admiral Ram Rothberg announced Tuesday. “At this very moment, after leaving Germany, the INS Tanin, the Navy and the State of Israel’s fourth submarine, is making its way to Israel,” Vice Admiral Ram Rothberg said during the closing ceremony for a captain’s course at the Haifa naval base. “It can dive deeper, go farther for a longer time and can operate at a level we have not seen until today,” he stressed.
Israel is also scheduled to receive a fifth German-made Dolphin-Class submarine, the INS Rahav, later in 2014.
“This procurement is part of our five-year plan for taking in three new German-made Dolphin submarines that will increase the Israel Navy fleet to six submarines,” Haifa Base Commander Brigadier General Eli Sharvit said in February. He added that an Israeli crew was in Germany to develop the project.
Israel has generally purchased its missile boats from the United States, using its annual allotment of US military aid.
The 2013 purchase of six Dolphin submarines from Germany was made using a steep discount, with the first three submarines being delivered as a gift.
In an additional deal, Israel also purchased two destroyers for $1 billion.
A few months ago, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz approved plans to purchase four large missile boats and recruit the sailors to operate them, in order to ensure the Israeli navy is able to patrol and protect the new gas fields.
Ilan Lavi, head of the Israeli Navy’s planning department told the Jerusalem Post in December that the new offshore gas resource offers Israel’s enemies a clear target that the army would have to increase spending in order to protect. “We have to build an entire new defensive envelope,” said Lavi.
The German weekly “Der Spiegel” reported in 2012 that the Dolphin-class submarines are capable of firing nuclear missiles, a report Chancellor Angela Merkel denied.
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