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December 24, 2014 2:24 pm

Israeli Navy to Add New Sub, Robotic Ships in 2015 (VIDEO)

avatar by Dave Bender

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INS Rahav under construction. Photo: Shipspotting.com.

INS Rahav under construction. Photo: Shipspotting.com.

By mid-2015, Israel expects to take command of its fifth Dolphin-class submarine, and integrate several unmanned surface vessels (USVs) into its littoral and blue-water defenses, Defense News said Tuesday.

The INS Rahav – one of a total of six – is considered to be one of the most advanced and cutting-edge diesel-electric submarines in the world, and possesses numerous capabilities fit for a large variety of missions.

Germany donated the first two submarines after the first Gulf War in 1991 and split the cost of the third with Israel. The fourth was received last year. In March 2012, Israel signed a contract for the sixth submarine, meaning that by the end of the decade the navy will have doubled its fleet.

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The 68.6 meters, 2,400 ton submerged displacement Rahav carries ten swim-out torpedo tubes, according to Defense News, which noted that “published sources” said the craft is equipped with “DM-2A4 Seehake wire-guided torpedoes, UGM-84C Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Triton anti-helicopter missiles.”

Maj. Y, the commander of the submarine operation school at a major naval training base, told an IDF magazine that “Our contribution during times of peace is with tremendous amounts of intelligence. The submarine is a spy tool and we do not ignore that.”

He stressed that, “During times of war, submarines are one of the most far-reaching instruments in the IDF,” adding, “You do not know where it is and do not know where it will sink you.”

On Sept. 22, the Israel Navy took command of the INS Tanin, the most expensive weapon currently in IDF service, at a cost of over $513 million dollars, and considered one of the most sophisticated submarines in the world.

“These new submarines have new systems, and therefore new capabilities,” according to Maj. Y.

The submarines use air-independent propulsion technology, which enables them to stay underwater longer, and are stealthier because they produce less noise.

“These submarines are larger than previous ones. In the event of a clash with strong water currents, the new steering station is designed to allow them to move more easily,” Maj. Y. said.

In addition to the regular submariner course, one long retraining course took place for the veterans. “Each submarine team consists of veterans who qualified in Germany, submariners and other veterans who were retrained, and new soldiers who enlisted when their course was adapted to the new submarines,” said Maj. Y.

In addition to the Rahav, the Navy is working to add on three twin-engined Protector USVs, built by local defense contractor, Rafael.

“Within the first half of 2015, we expect to be able to declare operational capability, on the third craft; the first two are already operational,” Rear Adm. Dror Friedman, vice chief naval officer told Defense News.

“In the end, we’ll see them incorporated into our force for coastal defense and also for the subject of offshore energy sites.

“Their added value is the ability to remain at sea for prolonged periods and to go to places that are particularly dangerous,” he said.

Watch an IDF video of operations aboard the Tanin:

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