Navy’s fourth Dolphin takes first swim

Navy’s fourth Dolphin takes first swim

Israeli and German officials launch the latest addition to the soon-to-be six-boat-strong submarine fleet

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Navy sailors aboard a Dolphin-class submarine in Haifa in 2009 (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)
Navy sailors aboard a Dolphin-class submarine in Haifa in 2009 (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The Israeli Navy received its fourth German-made Dolphin class submarine on Thursday.

The INS Tanin, due to arrive in Israel in 2013, is the latest addition to what IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz called the “defensive and fighting arm” of the Israeli Navy. It cost $500 million, a third of which was paid for by the German government.

Israeli defense officials and their German counterparts launched the boat and marked its transfer to the Defense Ministry’s control. The ceremony at the shipyard in Kiel, Germany, climaxed with the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle against the submarine’s hull by Israeli and German officials.

The Tanin, which means crocodile in Hebrew, will arrive in Israel next year following a battery of tests and inspections. It is considered one of the most advanced submarines in the world and is Israel’s most expensive piece of military hardware, according to the Defense Ministry.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated the navy and the IDF saying, “The submarine will be another force multiplier in terms of the capabilities and strength of the IDF and the State of Israel in the face of the growing regional challenges.”

Barak, GOC Navy Maj. Gen. Ram Rothberg, and Defense Ministry Director General Udi Shani praised the deal as symbolic of the close relations between Israel and Germany.


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