Will Israel’s New Advanced Submarines Carry Nuclear Weapons? – The National Interest Blog
The first of Israel’s new super advanced submarines is about to enter service, according to local news reports.
In recent days, a number of Israeli and other news sources have said that the INS Tanin is nearing the end of its testing, and will soon enter service with the Israeli navy. The Tanin first arrived in Israel from Germany in September of last year. It is the first of three new Dolphin submarines that Tel Aviv is purchasing from Germany.
“Israeli Navy personnel – together with crews from the defense industry – are executing the final sets of tests of the advanced weapons, communications, and intelligence systems added to the sub after its arrival from Germany in September,” YNet news outlet reported last week.
Compared to the three conventional Dolphin submarines Israel already operates, the INS Tanin and its two sister ships hold a number of advantages.
To begin with, the new ships are much larger. Whereas Israel’s existing submarines are just 57 meters (187 feet) long, the new Dolphins measure in at 68 meters (223 feet) in length. This should allow them to carry more torpedoes and missiles.
Most notably, the Tanin and its sister ships are powered by an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, compared to the Jewish state’s existing submarines, which are conventionally powered. AIP systems allow submarines to operate much longer and in near silence. This should provide Israel with a critical advantage.
As David Salamah, the commander of the Haifa naval base, told Israeli news outlets, the country’s undersea fleet, “operates deep in enemy territory — secretly, efficiently, and lethally.” In this regard, Salamah noted, the AIP Dolphins will be a huge asset. “We are talking about a major upgrade to the navy and the entire IDF, in the face of the challenges posed to the State of Israel.”