Wednesday, September 30, 2009
DTN News: Israel Takes Delivery Of 2 German-Built U212 Submarines
DTN News: Israel Takes Delivery Of 2 German-Built U212 Submarines *Source: DTN News / Defense Media (NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - September 30, 2009: Israel has taken delivery of two German-built submarines, a military spokesman said Sept. 29. "We have received two Dolphin-class submarines," he said on condition of anonymity. The U212 submarine is capable of long-distance submerged passage to the area of operation. The German Navy has ordered four of the submarines. The Type 212 is being constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) of Kiel and Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH (TNSW) of Enden. HDW is responsible for the bow sections and TNSW for the stern section. HDW is assembling the first and third vessels, TNSW the second and fourth. U31, the first of class, was launched in March 2002 and commissioned in October 2005. The submarines, called U212s, can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, although when it confirmed the sale in 2006 the German government said the two vessels were not equipped to carry nuclear weapons. Delivery was initially expected in 2010. Including the new subs, Israel has five German submarines - the most expensive weapon platforms in Israel's arsenal. Germany, which believes it has a historic responsibility to help Israel because of the Holocaust, donated the first two submarines after the 1991 Gulf War. It split the cost of the third. According to Jane's Defence Weekly, the U212s are designed for a crew of 35, have a range of 2,810 miles and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads. Israeli media have written that the Dolphin submarine could be key in any attack on Iran's controversial nuclear sites. An Israeli submarine recently used the Suez Canal for the first time in June, escorted by Egyptian navy vessels, in what Israeli media said was intended as a message to Iran. Widely considered the Middle East's sole, if undeclared, nuclear power, Israel suspects Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, a charge Tehran denies.