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October 14, 2016 4:25 pm

Report: Israel in Talks With Germany to Expand Size of Its Nuclear-Capable Submarine Fleet

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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The German-made Dolphin-class INS Rahav submarine. Photo: Ein Dahmer via Wikimedia Commons.

The German-made Dolphin-class INS Rahav submarine. Photo: Ein Dahmer via Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli and German officials have opened preliminary talks regarding a potential future expansion of the Jewish state’s nuclear-capable submarine fleet, Israel Defense reported on Friday.

As things stand now, the Israeli Navy is set to receive its sixth German-made Dolphin-class submarine in 2018. At that point, the Israel Defense report said, the navy is expected to retire one of its three older submarines, keeping its underwater fleet size at five. If the nascent negotiations with Germany bear fruit, however, that number will grow in the coming years.

The report called Israel’s submarines the country’s “primary strategic weapons system” and noted media reports that have said they provide Israel with a second-strike nuclear capability.

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According to the Israel Defense report, Israel’s interest in acquiring additional submarines might at least partially stem from “the extensive arms race” that commenced in the Persian Gulf region in the wake of the nuclear agreement signed last year by Iran and six world powers.

Israel’s newest submarine — the INS Rahav — arrived in Haifa in January after a sea journey from the northern German city of Kiel, where it was constructed at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG shipyard.

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  • Edward Shott

    Germany will be the first country they wi’l nuike

  • mikey248

    I believe Israel needs to order six more of these.

    By the time these arrive, the older two will also need to be retired.

    The ultimate fleet size would be nine, with 5-6 deployable at any given time and 3-4 under maintenance at any given time.

    It is important to have 5-6 deployed, so that at least two at sea are not tracked or destroyed at any given time.

    It is unlikely that the last of the added six I believe to be needed would arrive until 2028.

    • usebrain

      Sell them to Indians and earn some money

  • Lancelot Blackeburne

    What does the term “nuclear capable” mean in relation to these subs?

    Does it just mean they can launch nuclear missiles or does it also refer to the propulsion system?

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