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Germany To Sell Israel Discounted Dolphin-class Sub

July 20, 2011

For the past few years Germany has maintained a peculiar business relationship with Israel over submarines.  The unique transaction involving Dolphin-class submarines requires Germany to sell it at a knocked down price, offsetting the loss with its own money. In July, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with German Defense Minister Tomas de Maiziere to conclude the deal for a sixth sub. Israel currently operates three acquired in the 90s, with two more on the way.

The fascinating part is the Dolphin-class subs subsidized by Germany arrive in modified form to suit Israel’s needs, a practice that dates to the inception of Israel’s modern submarine arm shortly after the second Gulf War. The new deal for the sixth, which may cost more than a billion dollars, is going to be discounted with Germany footing more than 100 million euros of the amount.

Considering the immense oil and gas finds off the coast of Israel last year, it comes as no surprise that the Dolphin-class subs are a priority investment. The latest is believed to be the most impressive yet. Though a diesel-electric powered SSK, it will be capable of launching nuclear ballistic missiles.

The upcoming batch of Dolphin-class subs being constructed in Germany are due to enter service by 2014. The new subs are equipped with a more efficient propulsion system and can stay submerged for more than a few weeks. The sixth Dolphin-class sub’s weapons complement is composed of 10 tubes for torpedoes and cruise missiles.

Submarines figure in Israeli doctrine as a second-strike option in the dreaded scenario that a massive conventional or nuclear attack destroys large parts of the Jewish state.

Via: Israel Defense


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