The director general of Israel’s Ministry of Military Affairs, Major General Udi Shani, the commander of the Israeli navy, Rear Admiral Ram Rothberg, and a number of other Israeli and German officials attended the inauguration of the submarine at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) shipyard in Kiel Port on Monday.
The submarine, named the INS Rahav, will cost $500 million and will arrive in Israel in one year upon the completion and installation of its relevant systems. It is considered one of the most advanced submarines in the world and will be Israel’s most expensive piece of military equipment.
Israel’s first three Dolphin-class submarines are believed to be some of the most sophisticated diesel-electric submarines in the world. The fourth submarine, the INS Tanin, the first of the new generation Dolphin II submarines, was delivered in May 2012.
Germany donated the first two submarines after the first Persian Gulf War and agreed to cover a third of the cost of the third one.
In March 2012, Israel signed a contract for a sixth Dolphin-class submarine, to be delivered in a few years.
Israeli officials consider the submarines to be a critical aspect of the Israeli nuclear deterrent. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the submarines “a strong and strategic tool” for the Israeli navy.