The Israeli Navy on Tuesday recieved a fourth nuclear submarine to its fleet, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led a delegation of senior officials in welcoming the Dolphin-class INS Tanin submarine at the Haifa naval base.
The stealth submarine was met by a number of other Israeli warships, missile ships, submarines, and naval commando vessels which also welcomed the German built vessel. Netanyahu told reporters at the event, “This event gives a clear and pointed message to our enemies – the State of Israel stands firm against any threat, any challenge, in any location.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Naval Commander Ram Rothberg praised the Tanin crew, saying, “Tanin fighters – you are the longest arm of the IDF. Quiet, lethal and powerful.”
As is standard within the ranks of the Israeli Army, Navy, and Air Force, modifications have been made to the original vessel, including adjustments to the Dolphin-class submarine’s 650mm launch tubes which enable the missiles to carry nuclear warheads.
The Tanin is the single most expensive piece of equipment within Israel’s massive arsenal and it features state-of-the-art Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems, which allow it to operate without the need to access atmospheric oxygen by surfacing or using a snorkel.
On Monday, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Israeli Naval Commander Ram Rothberg took part in a ceremony of remembrance for Israeli sailors who were lost on the INS Dakar 46 years ago,
In speaking at the event about the fallen vessel, Gantz said “over four decades have passed since the last departure of the INS Dakar, and the goal for which the submarine fighters and commanders left the Gibraltar port towards the coast of the state of Israel remains the same.”
The Dolphin-class vessels from Germany are capable of carrying a combined total of up to 16 torpedoes and Submarine-launched cruise missiles, making them a formidable enemy by any standards.
Israel has also reportedly put in an order for a fifth and possibly sixth submarine from Germany to complete its arsenal and make it beyond doubt the most powerful sea force in the Middle East.