Israel’s naval power will be further augmented by a new, cutting edge submarine.
The INS Rahav, the fifth in a planned fleet of six Israeli submarines, left the shipyard in Kiel, Germany, on Thursday and is scheduled to arrive in Israel in January. The submarine is carrying some 50 crew members, including a senior Israeli Navy officer.
The new Dolphin-class vessel will travel 3,000 miles from Germany to Haifa and will make a scheduled stop 270 miles off the coast of Israel to honor the INS Dakar, an Israeli Navy submarine that sank there in 1968 with a crew of 69 on board. The fourth submarine, the INS Tanin, held a similar memorial service on its way to Haifa when it arrived in September.
At 223 feet in length, both the Rahav and the Tanin are longer than the Israeli Navy’s older submarines (187 feet). Both feature air-independent propulsion systems, which allow them to stay underwater for significantly longer than conventional submarines without resurfacing, using fuel cells to supplement their diesel-electric engines.
Dolphin-class submarines are multipurpose vessels capable of carrying out a diverse range of missions. The Rahav is equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance and countermeasures systems, allowing it to avoid detection by enemy vessels, as well as satellite communications capabilities and other systems for electronic warfare. Each Dolphin-class submarine costs around $500 million, a third of which was sponsored by the German government.
“The fifth submarine greatly enhances the Israel Navy’s submarine flotilla and provides us with another state-of-the-art tool to aid and defend Israel against numerous threats,” a Navy official said