Israel Acquires Fourth Advanced Submarine from Germany

Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Ryan Brown

The Israeli Navy expanded its collection of submarines last Thursday, adding a new Dolphin-class sub from Germany. The submarine, dubbed the “INS Tanin,” was transferred in the ceremony and is now set to arrive in Israel during 2013 after all checks are finished. According to a press release from the Israeli Ministry of Defense, the submarine “is considered to be among the most advanced and sophisticated submarines in the world.”

The “INS Tanin” will be Israel’s costliest piece of military equipment, and the press release noted it “is extremely versatile with a range of capabilities enabling it to adapt to a multitude of missions.”

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the sub. He was quoted by the release as saying the Dolphin “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.”

The head of the Israel Defense Forces also commented on the capabilities of the sub. “The Navy and its fleet of submarines, along with other arms of the IDF, make up an arm of deterrence—a defensive and ‘fighting’ arm—on a strategic level both for the IDF and the State of Israel,” said IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz in the press release.

The sub transfer from Berlin comes roughly three weeks before Germany is set to join the other members of the P5+1 in negotiations with Iran. The international group—consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany—will be continuing the discussions on the Iranian nuclear program.

The “INS Tanin” won’t be the last German sub to enter Israel. Another is set to be due for 2014, and still one more is expected in 2017. The subs cost half a billion dollars apiece, one-third of which is covered by the German government. The Israelis expressed their gratitude for Berlin’s support.

GOC Navy Maj.-Gen. Ram Rothberg, the head of the Ministry’s Procurement Administration, said in the press release, “At a time when threats are becoming global in their nature, the relationship between Israel and Germany is more crucial than ever.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, May 6, 2012)