Israel and Germany unveiled the Israel Navy’s fifth Dolphin-class submarine on Monday, at a ceremony at the German port of Kiel.
The submarine, called the INS Rahav, is the most expensive defense platform purchased by Israel. It is set to undertake long-range classified missions that are critical for Israel’s security.
The submarine is seen by the navy as a significant “force multiplier” that will enable Israel to cope with threats in the increasingly unstable Middle East region.
According to foreign reports, the Navy’s submarines also allow Israel a nuclear second strike capability, as they can travel far from Israel’s territorial waters and, reportedly, are able to carry long-range cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.
Some defense analysts consider the submarines to be crucial aspect of Israeli nuclear deterrence against Iran.
Among their many capabilities, submarines can launch conventional missile attacks on near and distant targets, fire torpedoes, and gather intelligence.
The latest Dolphin-class subs can remain submerged for longer than their predecessors.
The INS Rahav, together with the INS Tanin – the fourth Dolphine submarine delivered to Israel in 2012 – and the sixth Dolphon, still being manufactured, will cost a total of some 1.4 billion Euro (1.8 billion dollars). The German government is reportedly covering a third of the cost.
Monday’s ceremony was attended by Navy chief, Adm. Ram Rothberg, Defense Ministry Director-General Cmdr. (rets) Udi Shani, and senior German officials.
The ceremony followed years of development, and the submarine is expected to arrive at an Israeli port over the coming year. It must undergo further work before it can become operational, the navy said.
“The INS Rahav is one of the most advanced submarines in the world,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement Monday. “It is a versatile platform, which can adapt to many and varied missions. The fleet of submarines forms a long arm for the navy, the IDF, and the state of Israel,” the ministry added.
All year round, Israel’s submarines in engage in vital operations near and far from Israel, under a fog of secrecy, the ministry said.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Israels-5th-Dolphin-submarine-unveiled-in-Germany-311454