Tag Archives: Israel

Israel’s 5th Dolphin class submarine launched in north Germany

The INS Rahav submarine is seen at the dry dock at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft shipyard in Kiel, Germany. (file photo)

The INS Rahav submarine is seen at the dry dock at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft shipyard in Kiel, Germany.
Israel has launched its fifth Dolphin-class submarine, which was constructed to undertake long-range classified missions and carry missiles armed with nuclear warheads, at a shipyard in northern Germany.

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.
Source – Press TV

How did Israel’s Dakar submarine sink 45 years ago? – Video Clip

Israel’s archive is allowing the publication of 16 historic documents relating to the submarine’s disappearance and the subsequent search operation, but the answers are not surfacing easily.

The Dakar Submarine 1968

The Dakar Submarine 1968

The State Archives is slated to release a series of secret documents today related to the sinking of the Israel Navy’s Dakar submarine in 1968, which caused the death of 69 Israeli sailors. These documents include an Israel Navy report from 1968 that does not disqualify a “hostile act by the Soviet fleet,” and Foreign Ministry correspondence which notes that Turkey refused to allow Israel to search along its coastline “out of Turkish pride.”

Remnants of the submarine were discovered on the Mediterranean seabed 14 years ago, “but the question as to the circumstances of the sinking remain open to this day,” according to sources at the State Archives.

Now, almost exactly 45 years after the disaster, the archive is allowing the publication of 16 historic documents relating to the submarine’s disappearance and the subsequent search operation. This includes Foreign Ministry cables and the minutes of cabinet meetings beginning on January 26, 1968 − one day after communication was lost with the submarine, which was on a training mission on its way to Haifa.

Even after all these years, there still remain some classified documents that cannot be published in full. These include the classified 87-page report handed over to Dayan by then-navy commander Maj. Gen. Shlomo Harel on March 1, 1968.

That report is on track to be published in its entirety in five years. In the meantime, the State Archives and Israel Defense Forces archives department have cooperated to publish the main findings now.

From the material cleared for publication, it appears that the navy pointed to three possible reasons for the submarine’s sinking. First on the list is “technical fault or human error,” second is “hostile action by the Soviet fleet − a possibility that cannot be fully discarded,” and third is “a collision with another seagoing craft.”

In 45 years, there has been no confirmation that the Soviets were involved in sinking the submarine.

The complete report − of which only a few, secret copies were distributed − is currently stored in the IDF’s archives department. It has not been made available to the public because 50 years have not yet passed since it was drafted.

Other documents released by the State Archives reveal Turkey’s refusal to allow Israel to scour its coastline to search for remnants of the submarine.

On February 2, 1968, Daniel Laor, Israel’s diplomatic representative in Ankara, reported that Israel’s military attache had asked the Turkish chief of staff to allow Israel Navy ships and planes to search along part of Turkey’s southern coastline. The Turks refused, but agreed to conduct their own search operation with Israel’s guidance.

“I expressed disappointment that they raised difficulties,” Laor wrote.

In another cable sent to the Foreign Ministry, Laor offered several explanations for why the Turks refused to allow Israel to search for the submarine. The first was security-related: “It is a sensitive area between Cyprus and Turkey where air, sea and ground forces were gathering prior to an invasion of Cyprus. Turkey is not interested in having foreign ships searching its waters without its supervision,” he wrote.

Cyprus was invaded in 1974, six years later.

Laor noted another possible reason: “Turkish pride, based on the pretense that they could do it better than us.” Eventually, however, Turkey helped facilitate Israel’s extensive search operation. Last week marked the 45th anniversary since then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan proclaimed that the Dakar and its crew were “missing.” A memorial now stands in the Mount Herzl military cemetery for the Dakar’s 69 crew members who perished.

Source – Haaretz

Lebanon claims Israeli submarines spotted near coast

Naval fleet reportedly patrolling from Nakura as far north as Sidon

Illustrative photo of an Israeli Navy Dolphin class submarine off the coast of Haifa. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Illustrative photo of an Israeli Navy Dolphin class submarine off the coast of Haifa. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

French UNIFIL forces in southern Lebanon said they saw the Israeli subs on several days, traveling from Nakura past Tyre and as far north as Sidon, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Monday, citing Lebanese news site Addiyar Online.

The report said the UN had been apprised of the Israeli movement, but Hezbollah had not received word of it.

In recent weeks, Lebanon several times accused Israel of violating Lebanese airspace by sending “spy” drones on overflights and conducting mock sorties.

Israel has not responded to the allegations.

In late January, US officials told The New York Times that Israel had notified the United States about an airstrike it carried out near the Lebanese-Syrian border. The officials said that they believed the target of the strike was a convoy carrying sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry intended to reach Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

An unnamed Western official told The Wall Street Journal that the convoy was carrying sophisticated Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft weapons, which could constitute a strategic game-changer were Hezbollah to possess them.

A former Syrian general said later that week that the facility reportedly struck by Israel produced nonconventional weapons, in addition to conventional arms. Maj. Gen. Adnan Sillu was previously in charge of the country’s chemical weapons training program.

Israel never officially commented on the alleged air raid.

On Saturday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned of a very harsh response should Israel choose to attack Lebanon.

“The Islamic resistance won’t keep mum on any Israeli attack on Lebanon,” Nasrallah said, adding that Hezbollah would not need to transfer any weapons from Syria to retaliate. “The resistance in Lebanon possesses all the necessary equipment.”

Source – The Times of Israel

INF submarine ‘sinks enemy ships’ – Video Clip

Ahead of arrival of new German-made submarine, Navy releases rare video of underwater vessel’s drill

The Israel Navy (INF) released a rare video Monday, allowing a sneak peak at its most expensive weapon – the stealth submarine.

The video shows an exercise in which the submarine’s crew fires torpedoes at “enemy warships.”

The exercise was held as part of the INF’s preparations to receive its fourth German-made submarine, which is currently making its way to Israel. A fifth submarine has been contracted.

The Navy plans to add more sailors to its elite submarine unit and the current submarine crewmen course graduation will mark a new record in their numbers.

Graduates of the 16-month course will be given the rank of sergeant. Each has mastered a mechanical discipline of submarine operations, such as cruise control, navigation, electricity, weapons and sonar.

“The submarine – Israel’s most complex marine weapon – is only as strong as its crewmen,” INF Chief Admiral Ram Rotberg said Monday. “They are quality professionals with stern battle ethics.”

Source – Ynet News